Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

October 23, 2013

ROOT: Be true to yourself

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Have you ever heard the word “sheeple”? It is the hybrid term that was developed to describe people who simply do what they’re told and follow the crowd, like sheep.

The problem with the term is that it has been cast in the same negative light as the n-word and an f-bomb. While n’s and f’s are definitely no-no words, sheeple gets taken out of context too often and is attached to groups of people who feel strongly about something.

This notion of trying to shoot down people who band together really needs to stop.

In most cases, the person who is using the sheeple brand is a lone nut who sits in his room at his parents’ house and thinks that his “Lord of the Rings” posters and Goth music make him some kind of independent thinker. If you want to meet a truly independent thinker, then make friends with Steven Spielberg or David Gilmour. The rest of us are trying to identify our individuality by using someone else’s visions. That is just the way it goes, and it is perfectly normal.

Let me give you an example of someone who is a true free thinker. On my wife’s Facebook page is a picture she took herself. It looks like a professional took it, but she took it on our last vacation to Maine. She will often use pictures she has taken of one of our cats or someone else as her avatar on Facebook as well. She doesn’t feel the need to identify with any group and she would definitely qualify as someone that could use the term “sheeple” in a derogatory way.

But the thing is that she respects everyone’s opinions and has no desire to shoot someone down because they follow the ideas of a particular group. She may not always agree with group ideas, but she has nothing against the people that do follow those ideas.

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