Lemmings are small rodents, usually found in or near the Arctic, in tundra biomes. Lemmings weigh from 1.1 to 4.0 oz. and are about 2.8” to 5.9” long. They generally have long, soft fur, and very short tails. They are herbivorous, feeding mostly on leaves and shoots, grasses, and sedges in particular, but also on roots and bulbs. Lemmings do not hibernate through the harsh northern winters. Misconceptions about lemmings go back many centuries. In the 1530s, the geographer Zeigler of Strasbourg proposed the theory that the creatures fell out of the sky during stormy weather and then died suddenly when the grass grew in spring. This myth was refuted by the natural historian Ole Worm, who accepted that the lemmings could fall out of the sky but that they had been brought over by the wind rather than created by spontaneous generation.

Lemmings became notorious in popular culture because of a myth that they commit mass suicide when they migrate. Driven by strong biological urges, some species of lemmings may migrate in large groups when population density becomes too great; but Lemmings swim quite well and may choose to cross a body of water in search of a new habitat. In such cases, some may drown. This fact combined with the unexplained fluctuations in the population of Norwegian Lemmings gave rise to the development of the mass suicide myth, which we now know just isn’t so. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming]

People will believe what they want to believe, no matter the reality. When masses of people believe in something it becomes more difficult to contest their position. Yet the reality is that we all conform to mass behavior patterns of one sort or another. It’s a natural part of the enculturation process. For things to work smoothly in a culture, a business, a family or an army, various degrees of conformity must be sanctioned by all. Not to do so would result in conflict & chaos. But every culture, nation, family etc. needs some individuals, who do not accept what is, to step outside of the pack, and dream what is to come. Then there are a select few, paradigm pioneers we call them, who make it happen. They envision a future for the rest of us; they forge pathways through thick confusion and a seemingly deadlocked worldwide quagmire.

Some are inventors, who bring us mobile phones, iPads, secure Internet connections, new sources of renewable energy or intelligent diplomacy to end the misery of third world hunger. Others are spiritual leaders who make a major difference in their respective cultures— Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi, Mother Teresa (born Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu), William Wilberforce, Nee Shu- Nee Tsu (Watchman Nee), William & Catherine Booth, Isabella Baumfree (Sojourner Truth). Still others are behind the scenes, #2s, VPs, COOs, making sure the wheels of industry and commerce turn smoothly. And still another category we might describe simply as lovers; people whose love motivates, inspires, and sustains the efforts of so many. We know them as mothers, fathers, mentors, a band of brothers, comrades in arms, confidantes, friends, etc.

Ask yourself these three questions—

1.    Do you compromise your life-principles to run with the majority, to be “like everybody else?”

2.    Are you fulfilling your design to be different, possibly a paradigm pioneer, leading the rest of us?

3.    What are you inventing? Who are you leading, spiritually? Who knows you love them?

Lemmings are such common creatures, with almost predictable behavior patterns. Who knows…, that may be your role in life— to keep the wheels of industry, of society running smoothly. But if you’ve been designed to think outside the box, to initiate rather than re-create, to forge new frontiers of science, medicine, technology, or even loving relationships, then you had better step up to the plate and take a shot. So help you God!  (And you will need all the help you can get!)

Have a nice week.


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