We are who our herd is

I’ve taken no fewer than a bizillion personality tests.

From the classic Myers Briggs code generator to what “Star Wars” character I would be, I’ve pretty much taken them all. (Honestly, there is nothing more disappointing than getting R2D2 on the latter.)

Heck, I even took a “What TV mom would you be” quiz once. (Full disclosure: I think I got Tammy Taylor from “Friday Night Lights” and was really happy about it.)

As a culture, we’re kind of obsessed with figuring out who we are. As if one of those test is going to unlock some secret truth about us and forever change our self-perception.

I’m currently working on a rough draft for a book about my journey through Bible college. I even made it “Facebook official” to ensure I would complete it.

Yesterday was my first “work day” and so I began writing about how I ended up on that journey in the first place. I’m not going to get too far into those details here — yes, you’re just going to have to buy the book — but I began to think about how much we really are a people of herds.

We all seek a herd, or a group, and it truly becomes a lot of who we are as people. When we’re young, our herd is our family, hence our last names. But somewhere around those middle school years, that changes, or at least it did for me.

I no longer wanted to be known as “Travis Williams,” I wanted to be known as “Travis The Athlete” or “Travis The Class Clown” or “Travis, Member of the Cool Lunch Table.”

I subconsciously wanted to assimilate myself with those types of people, hang with them, and have that become my identity.

I dare say I’m not alone in this. I think we all naturally drift into herds like that, some for the better, some worse. And sometimes, I think we’re not even aware of how much our herd is affecting who we are and the decisions we make.

We are who our herd is.

So when it comes to learning about ourselves, maybe the best place to start is with our herd, or the people with which we spend the most time and who are closest to our hearts.

Who are they?

What are their priorities, their qualities, their faults?

What do they treasure? What do they hate?

And then, a more important question needs to be answered.

Do I want to be that person?

Because, like it or not, we become our herd.

— @TravisKWilliams



About travman44

I work as a reporter for a newspaper in southwest Virginia. I play as a writer specializing in deep thoughts on shallow, and occasionally not so shallow, subjects. I'm also a former history teacher, bible college alum, and lover of the NBA and kids' breakfast cereals. It's a delicate blend. -- @TravisKWilliams on Twitter
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