I thought it would be longer before I continued this post, but it's been on my mind, and I didn't really like leaving it on such a judgmental note.
So off I go....
Sheep seems a really unkind way to express it. It implies unintelligence, not thinking, and living life the way everyone else does, following your neighbor's lead, if not following society's.
But I get so drained when I hear people just repeat opinions that they've heard. Church leaders, politicians, neighbors, whatever they heard on the news, etc.
To my mind, you cannot respectably fit into the role of Follower (complacent and content) until you have at least a few times tried on the role of Leader. Or better yet, that of the Rebel.
If you're the first to think a thought, and act upon it, simply because you feel it, way inside, because you know it's the right thing to do for you, and couldn't care less who disapproves of it - your extended family, the neighborhood gossip, your playgroup parents, the lady who cuts your hair.... then you've come into your own Truth. It's simply a matter of taking something you've heard, or been taught, and really examined it. Take it out and look at it, and see if the Truth is really your own. Why does it make sense? What about it doesn't? Is it freeing? Is it constraining? Does it make you fly? Does it make you feel shame? Do you not doubt it at all? If not, why not? Does it make you feel totally at peace?
Even if it's something you already thought you believed, and after examination you realize "Yes, I really do believe that!" or I know, or I Feel, or I Am. The knowing of it after rethinking and being open minded will make you stand taller and stronger. And be in peace.
Besides of comprising 90% of our society (maybe it's not that high), followers have a place in our society as Worker Bees. They're perfectly happy (seemingly) to pick up the garbage after the parade. Which I think is alright, as I said, if you've done the self examination and determined that's where your truth lies. But not if it's becasue you don't have the guts to live your life any other way! It's not hard to stand up to society. And the more you do it, the taller and stronger you get.
Where I think I am possibly Perfectly Wrong in all of this thinking is that though I scoff at the idea of there being "Security in Numbers", in a spiritual sense it almost makes sense. What I mean is - provided you accept the ultimate truth of "We Are All One", then being a member of the flock will bring you into the bosom a little more, where you might find a firmer sense of brotherhood. I've a long way to go on this one. Though I accept it as Truth, it's not something I experience, or know intimately. I feel connected with God (Goddess, The Source, Allah, you choose), and feel one with Her, but currently I feel pretty disconnected from my fellow man in general. So I've got work to do.
On the other hand, I don't believe in any religion, or believe that the purpose of life is to get here, follow the rules, make the sacrifices, and if you Suffer Greatly, then you'll receive your rewards in Heaven.
I believe in a non-judging, non-condemning God.
I believe (know) that the purpose of life is to (yet again) "Live the Grandest Version of the Grandest Vision you ever had for Yourself." (Neale Donald Walsch)
I believe God knows and experiences itself through us. (joyfully and completely)
And if we make it mandatory to limit that experience, then it's not going to be a very exciting and enlightening ride. I believe the Universe - Energy - God - is comprised of all of it. Accepting it all, not judging. Just Being.
Ultimately I think the goal is to experience a sense of brotherhood, but I really think it's an essential step to stand alone before quietly stepping into somewhere of the middle of the line.