I’ve had a strong sense of conviction all my life. Even as a small child I remember this. Just knowing the difference between what is right and what is wrong. This didn’t mean that I always did what was right at all. I stumbled and I cried and I tried and I learned. As a teenager this conviction grew, while the pull of the world increased too. As a teen I became the “innest” of the in-crowd, for awhile. I had a constant cadre of friends around me, a security blanket of affirmation. And of course this is very important at this age. Luckily I managed to still carve a uniqueness out of myself, but I did feel I belonged to the world and was “cool”. The world did a very good job of convincing me of this.
I had a propensity to want to conform to my crowd.
But all grown up, out alone skipping in the world, I fully enjoyed the salad bar of life. I tried as much of it as I could- the good, the bad and the ugly. And some truly seamy and questionable things mind you, of which I felt no guilt. Guilt was anathema to me, as my growing up to this point had shown me what terrible things guilt and blame and fault and regret can do to a person. I had seen it all around me, and felt a strong sense of conviction this was just wrong. And besides, how could I know about anything if I didn’t experience it first hand? My parents had a wall plaque, you know the cheesy bric-a-bracy type of dime-store thing, which read “Walk A Mile In My Moccasins And You Will Know My Journey”. Even as a kid this made an impression on me, as I felt convinced that it rang true, and also that the Cherokee were indeed a wise lot. So yeh I did a whole bunch, met bunches of all types, I walked down the dark alleys of experience, and have no regrets.
As the years have passed my fortitude and resolve to strengthen my own conviction has grown. I’ve had no choice as everyone knows that God doesn’t give you anything you’re not strong enough to bear. Well, that’s what they say. And I’ve screamed out at him so much that he’s forsaken me. Still do. So my conviction is all I have left.
My conviction is all that’s reliable.
Around me I see sheep grazing on the hillside. They stand around tentatively, chomping and conforming, occasionally peeking out from the corners of their eyes at the others to ensure they’re doing the right thing. The shepherd and border collies come out to the hillside each day, and the sheep respond to them instinctively and just blindly. Yes they’re a tentative crowd and so easily pulled. They’re programmed for this because it’s how things have always been. They follow the lead without question. I can’t relate to this herd mentality whatsoever. I watch, just wishing that one would buck ’em all and make a beeline!
That’s the one I’d have admiration for.
Today it seems, the masses are like sheep. They have no sense of conviction that they can play any part in the change we need to see. The glaze over their faces has shut out their light. You can’t see inside them. The he said and the she said and the they said et al, and the sheep just fold their arms and sit back, giving up on any hope, looking out of the corners of their eyes for an escape.
The only benefit to all of this personally (as yes it’s all about me) is that at least nowadays I’m scoffed at much less for my “differentness”. My uncluttered-dom is now a curiosity. Now I’m just more of an oddity, sometimes viewed as indifferent or cold.
Or simply insane.
Well I’m convinced that I’m crazy it’s true. But no one could call me sheepie.