How it all starts - Leaders and Followers
So who are You Really?
Ah, yeah, the high school days... Remember them? The simpler days when all you had to worry about was keeping the grades up and getting some little love (you know?! Relationship things) or recognition… Ok! Ok! Maybe not everyone, some people were all about books, books and nothing but books.. I honestly never understood how someone could read that much… That’s an addition you guys… I think...
But wait a minute; did I say the simpler days? Uh, sorry about that, there was nothing simple about those days, nothing at all (except of course for free food and a place to sleep under dad and mum's roof). There was lots of pressure from every front, and I mean every front- keeping the grades up, trying to be independent, finding a part time job, learning to be an adult and all that- yeah, the transition to adulthood was somewhat difficult- agree? If you don't agree then you really need to confirm whether you really are human- I’m not even kidding right now...
You may be asking, Ppitcher, where the heck are you going with this? .... Alright!, I heard you; I’ll get right to it…I realized one thing when I got to high school. There are those who lead and there are those who followed.
Yes, that is my big topic of the day, leaders and followers...
Do you remember that popular kid in high school? Yes? Good. Now forget about that kid, let me direct your attention to the kids that were always around him. Yes, those that used to follow him around:
- Doing whatever he/she wanted,
- Laughing at his/her nonsensical jokes,
- Always talking about how they were his/her best friend,
- Always standing up/defending him/her even when they were wrong, etc...
See, those were "followers", and sadly most of them remain in that state for most part of their lives- what? You don't believe me? You think I’m just being absurd?? Ok, good, I’ll use an example to try and change our mind...
Think of those individuals who are strong supporters of certain political figures, they adore them, they always talk about them, they have all their books and are always quoting them, and no matter how bad the politician is, these individuals will follow them anywhere, honestly, even if they have never personally seen them. This is particularly the case in Africa- all a politician has to do is utter a statement, and he/she will be followed to all the four corners of the world (sadly, this has led to inter-ethnic conflicts and such with idiots fighting and even killing their very neighbors simply because their favorite politicians suggested it: Damn you!)...
But enough of that, let's get back to the old "simpler" days- high school. The popular kid and those like them were the leaders, while the damn followers in an attempt to remain relevant and popular had to hang on every word or action the popular kid had to say or do. This is actually one of the reasons bullying has been prevalent in high school- it's all in an attempt to become more popular, or appease the popular kids... Just do your own small research, it won't take you long to differentiate the leaders from the followers in high school.
It’s cool; I’ll be here waiting :)
Done? Good, let's continue...
Let's face it; it is pathetic to be the one following. It means you need someone else to define you. Before you get all bored of reading, allow me to give a small example? Please? Oh, come-on, it'll be short. Agreed? Great, you're the best, I mean it :)
Ever heard of epiphytes? They are mostly angiosperms (flowering plants) including different species of orchids and tillandsias to mention a few. Now, these types of plants will grow on other plants (particularly tree branches) from where they can derive moisture and nutrients from the back of the tree and the air. Other plant climbers like liana will hold on to other stronger plants (such as trees) for support themselves and therefore have better changes of surviving.
It is at this point that I have to pose the question- what type of plant are you? Are you the sort that depends on others and cannot survive without them?
Sadly, some have so little self- esteem that they need to be in the presence of the popular kids to feel good about themselves.
"Like a piece of paper, they will follow the wind wherever it leads“
You have to ask yourself: Are you one of the popular kids? Or one that follows the popular kids ? There is a big difference…
So, why is it so “uncool” to be the follower? Well, it's simple really- you lose a sense of yourself. See, when you follow for too long, you don't get to be yourself. Hell, you even avoid the things you like just because the popular kids you hang out with do not approve. I'm sure you know some of these kids; you may even be one of them:
There are a number of reasons. Let me list some of them for you:
- You no longer do the things you used to enjoy doing because your popular kid friends think it’s lame,
- You ignore your real friends because they no longer seem cool enough,
- You start disrespecting your parents and family members because that's how your cool kid friends roll,
- You bully other kids because it's what the popular kid does or wants you to do,
- And a whole lot of other stuff… A whole lot.
And what happens when you get older? Well, the reality is that you no longer have any idea of who you really are. You have followed others for so long that when they are no longer there you become a shell of a person...
Hold on, and what happens to the popular kids? Well, they go on living their lives, good or bad they learnt to be in control early enough. They did not have to stop doing what they liked, nope, they listened to their favorite music, they went where they liked, and they pursued their interests... And yes, they controlled you in every other way so that you would get to hang out with them.
Here is the thing, don't lose yourself to please someone else. Such devout followers don't even get time to pursue their interests, live their lives to the fullest when they were young simply because they spent too much time doing what others wanted.
Seriously, sit back and think. Look deep inside you and you'll find out who you are, what you're good at, something unique- become your own project: you know? Build yourself, your talents- the you... You are not your friend (s), you are you, and you are unique, so work on that. Ok mate? Ok, good. Let that sink...
Look at that plant climb
So Which One Are You?
You either lead, follow or simply follow while getting used. It's all up to you to find your place in this simple system. But then again, we all have our comfort zone, so take your spot, and be proud of it :)
You Have One Job
You only have one job, one job, to make you the best person you can. Seriously, we are all on the same planet. Some may have some little advantage over others, but that does not mean you cannot make "YOU" work. Make yourself your project: You will see the results in the end.