I’ve always been suspicious of followers.
I’m a leader myself not a follower. I have an over-active cynicism attenna and in my experience, human beings group themselves irrespective of flat structures, and much lauded encouragement ‘we’re all friends here’…
Human beings organise themselves into groups and every group has a leader. Often self-appointed. In each group there is a coterie of ‘followers’ (for want of a better word) who pray God that the leader’s magnificence will rub off on them so that they can be seen!
Remember the gorgeous Barbie girl at school with the fat creepy looking best friend. Her foil no doubt.
So when groups (and I’m not talking about any particular group… settle petal) start organising themselves into groups and sub-groups and in-crowds and inner circles, I wonder albeit cynically ‘who made you God?’ and I start to ponder the mercurial structures that are group dynamics.
Sour grapes? Maybe.
But actually I think it has more to do with experience.
You see, many years ago when I was young (yes that long ago) I was involved in a Christian ‘cult’ (for want of a better word). So much of what I saw there has wounded me deeply. If you are an evangelical Christian, it might be a good thing to stop reading this post here.
I saw lives destroyed. I saw marriages made because the pastor said God had told him it should be so. I saw personalities squashed, sexual orientation questioned and belittled..
It was a horrible time. But I have healed and moved on. Part of that healing process was documenting some of my experiences in a novel I penned a few years ago. It took me eight years to write, and I finally put it in for editing in 2005. The editor (rightly so) came back with screeds of edits. Despite years of commercial writing and all the criticism that comes with it, I found it hard to deal with at that time. I was divorcing, my world was crumbling..I really didn’t need to feel I was crap at writing too.
Looking back over that manuscript today I am very grateful for the editor’s work and I have the strength now to rewite this story. I’ve put up an extract from Life After Death on the pages over there >>
It may explain why I’m oversensitive about groups, and followers.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you a follower? Or a leader?