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Guest post by J. M. Hawkins

Dear Soul,

I have to admit that the question, “What will people think?” is a major factor in my decision making. I feel I have to consider all the ramifications of my decisions in terms of their popular-approval rating.

Dear Life,

Ramifications? Sounds more like “sheepifications”. You’ve just admitted you let other people do your thinking for you.

Not much chance of your butting heads with a conformist world that way. No, your story sounds more like this:

The “many” had a little lamb;

It’s brain was blank as snow.

And everywhere the “many” went,

The lamb was sure to go.

It followed them off a cliff one night.

They said: “Follow or be a fool!”

Become yourself, avoid this plight.

Don’t be the masses’ tool.

Today, I won’t be a slave to the influence of others. I’ll think for myself in order to be myself. Today, I’m declaring myself a free agent

*The Dear Soul/Dear Life dialogs by J.M. Hawkins are adapted and used by permission. They are excerpted from his collection, Word From Soul City and were used in discussion groups that met in cities across America in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to the Life That Loves to Happen seminars with Landon Saunders.