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Who’s Your Herd?


Did you know goats are herd animals? It's true. They like the companionship of other goats and will not thrive if they can not be in a herd.

The funny thing about watching them in a herd is when one of them thinks he sees or hears ssomething spooky and begins to run, then they all begin to run. None of them knows why they are running, except maybe the first one, but they do it anyway. If one goat sees a tasty leaf and seems eager to get to it, all the others will abandon whatever they were chewing to try to race the first goat to the new find.

We have noticed this same kind of thing with our ducks, but with negative behavior. We have one beautiful male mallard, with a pretty green head and a perfect white neckband. The other, plainer ducks seem to despise him. Maybe they are jealous. Whatever the reason, they won't let him eat, and they drive him away from the food we throw out. (We give him a little extra to the side.) They chase him away if he comes too close to them when they are splashing in a puddle. It's sad, really.

My mother used to tell me, "Birds of a feather flock together." She meant that you can tell a lot about a person by the group she associates with. She also meant if I hang around a certain group of people, I will become like them.

Psychologists tell us the same thing. Ever hear of "group think"? [2] The simple act of belonging to a group makes it extremely difficult to oppose that group. Our nature wants to go along.

You may have heard the less than flattering term "sheeple" pertaining to people who just follow the crowd.

Which leads me to the title of this post.

Who's your herd?

Since it is our nature to follow the crowd, to not be the only one who opposes an idea, to fit in, this makes choosing our "herd" very important.

Do you have friends who always seem to be down in the dumps? Friends who are always griping about their husbands? Friends who talk on and on about their financial difficulties? If that's your herd, you will become like them.

Don't get me wrong. I have my share of gripes and difficulties. We all do.

But we get to choose what we dwell on. What we give voice to. What we become.

Choose a herd who finds their children delightful, who honors their husbands, who trusts in the Lord.

And you will become like them.