Jane and I were trying to find a way to convince our Senior High Sunday School class the importance of being who you are and not follow the crowd. After all, we were also talking to teenagers, a rather peer-directed bunch.
One day, we were driving through the countryside and came upon a cow pasture. Running through this beautiful green pasture was a well-worn path. There was nothing in this path but exposed soil from the cows’ heavy traffic.
The thought came to me: “Wow an entire pasture to roam, walking anywhere they want, yet they choose to follow each other around in single file.”
A day later, Jane and I were in the grocery store. There were three cashiers. In two of the lanes had five to six people in them, in the third lane there was no one. We quickly moved into the empty lane and as we did others from the longer lines followed. Exiting the store, while laughing, I turn to Jane and said, “Do you see the similarities between what we saw in the cow pasture yesterday and what just happened in the store?”
Rolling her eyes, Jane said, “Joe, what in the world are you talking about?”
“How everyone was standing in two lanes while one lane was wide open,” I said. “It shows how we humans sometimes act as cows. Simply following those in front of us without thinking about what we are doing and what other options maybe available to us. When we moved to the open line, and stopped imitating cows, it made us happier because we checked out faster.”
Shaking her head, Jane said, “Really, Joe?”
That’s when I said, “No really. What a fun lesson to use … ‘You can be you, and be happy, or you can be a cow.’”
And that’s how our book, “Don’t Be A Cow!” began, and ultimately launched our series of workshops and presentations.