Sometimes It's Worth Not Following The Herd

Edmonton - Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - by: Ron Thornton


Loyalty is a wonderful thing, or at least it must be considering how much we have heard the term bandied about as of late. I understand such devotion to our loved ones; those who bring such joy into our lives that it makes it all worth living. Yet, how much loyalty should one be expected to give to anyone, especially a political leader who may no longer represent the best interests of his party, its membership, or the nation?




I am reminded of that magnificent beast, the American bison. When leading them to slaughter, some tribal hunters would stampede the brutes toward a cliff. In a scene many would view as reminiscent of some political types, the followers would run blindly with their heads in close proximity to their leader's backside as they all sailed off into the abyss.




In order to ensure such obedience there must be consequences for those who do not follow. If a bison decides to run alone, there is the risk it might lose the protection and fellowship of the herd, possibly imperiling its own chances of survival. Sometimes the lead bison might have them sign a letter of loyalty or in some form "mark them well and leave them behind."




Of course, running separately from the crowd might also afford the critter the opportunity to see where the rest of the herd is heading and to be in a position to do something about it. Such leadership, with the intelligence and the courage to follow its own path in order to do what is right by us, is always preferable to misguided loyalty to what is not.


Ron Thornton