The internet is abuzz with anger directed at Colin Kaepernick. His refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem before a football game has unleashed fury from a tormented nation.
I too find the entire story to be troubling, but not for the reason most people are upset. What I find upsetting is that it reminds me people are like sheep. And if one of the sheep gets out of line, the others in the flock. turn into a pack of wolves. Why? Because someone dared to express a difference of opinion.
If you doubt the truth of this statement, simply think of all the horrible junk you’ve seen in your Facebook feed about Colin Kaepernick.
By the time you get to be an old man like me, deep patterns of thinking are worn into the brain. Long ago, opinions morphed into facts. A preference became a sacred cow. A habit is elevated to a mandatory method.
The danger of getting old is that we turn into sheep. And, this danger is not the exclusive property of the old; it impacts people of all age.
This video illustrates the point. It’s more than three minutes long but worth your time.
Did you notice the quote from the main player? “Everybody was doing it so I thought I was supposed to.”
There it is. This social learning disturbs me. But it explains, at least in part, the outrage over a football player not standing during the national anthem.
- He’s not playing by the rules.
- He’s not one of the sheep.
- He’s expressing a difference of opinion.
- He’s daring ot let the world know he thinks for himself.
As a result, the internet has turned into a pack of sanctimonious wolves as they circled Colin Kaepernick for the kill.
We forget that in the same arena there are thousands of other people sitting, or talking on their phone, or guzzling beer. Why the outcry against Colin? He stood out and it made the other sheep nervous.
Before you throw rotten tomatoes at me I want you to know I’m patriotic. I usually stand at the right times and sit at the right times. But I have no desire to be one of the mindless sheep who do what they do because it is what others do. I want to be driven by deep-seated convictions, not because the crowd expects me to think, act, or talk a certain way.
This is the crime of Colin Kaepernick. He has dared to think for himself and take a stand by not standing up. And in my eyes that might make him a hero.
The lesson in this incident is that we ought to think for ourselves. And we ought to do what we do because it is a deep-felt conviction.
Do you really think everyone who stands at the singing of the national anthem loves their country enough to die for it? Or that by standing they are somehow a true patriot and that cowardly anarchists remain seated?
The challenge for everyone, especially older people, is to not match step with the crowd because they are the crowd. We are to think, wrestle with facts, and burn some cerebral oil as we arrive at our own conclusions.
What makes our country great is not that we are marching mindlessly in lock step. America can only be great as we think for ourselves and do what is right, even if it turns the flock into a pack of wolves.
I’m grateful Colin Kaepernick has reminded me to not be a sheep mindlessly following the flock.
Thanks Chuck. I appreciate your comment.
Great thoughtful response Randy. I’m with you in valueing an independent spirit that thinks for oneself and is willing to take a position that differs from the crowd.
I’m guessing that’s the kind of spirit which has historically made our country great?
Thanks Randy, appreciate seeing this from a new perspective. We are like sheep, everyone should conform to our norm.
I never really realized how true this is. This is really evident if you watch the video!
Hey Randy, Great thoughts & reminders not to be aimless in thoughts or deeds. Appreciate you insight.
Kudos to you and Colin. Keep hope alive. And I’m actually serious this time. See you in ~60 days.
Thanks friend. I’m counting down the days. It will be a grand and glorious reunion!
This is scary and something we all want to be aware of. Think History tells us how people were controlled during Holocaust, etc. However, I don’t see this protest in that light. I see him being “a sheep” to a different group and being controlled by them.
I appreciate your perspective.
He needs to remember that he is a highly paid entertainer, and role model. Sometimes in life we need to do things we don’t agree with because we are a role model. Would it really hurt this guy to stand? What if a cop decided he doesn’t want to wear a uniform to work? Does that mean he is a hero? What if a young school teacher decided to wear a bikini to school? Does it make her a hero if she says it is her convictions to dress this way? You make a good point, and I understand your point!
There are many ways to look at this situation. I doubt, for example, that he sees himself as a role model. And it sure wouldn’t hurt him to stand but he’s out to make a point. Whatever position anyone takes he sure got the attention!
As usual, a point well taken, but incomplete. My reactions:
1. He’s inconsequential
2. The country he vilifies allows him to ply his trade, with marginal success, and be paid over $100 mil for it
3. His facts are inaccurate. For example, he says there are people put on administrative leave for murdering people. His perspective conveniently forgets that people are innocent until proven guilty.
4. He uses the margins to indict the majority. A few bad actors do not indict the whole.
5. He can say what he wants.
6. I don’t care what he says.
I think, like many issues in our country, this issue is complex and multi-layered. Your insights are helpful. Thanks for contributing to the conversation.
Well well the mind is opening ….
And I hope that’s a good thing!!