Online Business: Following The Followers – Earl Nightingale
I remember reading an amusing story about a jeweler in a small town who noticed a man stopping each morning in front of ‘ his jewelry store, pulling a large gold watch out of his pocket, and setting it to the time of the large clock in the store window. He did this every day, month after month, year after year.
One morning, as the jeweler was sweeping the sidewalk in front of his store, the man in overalls stopped to set his watch. On impulse, the jeweler spoke to the man. He said: “I’ve noticed you setting your watch by my big clock every morning for years. What do you do at the factory?”
The man ﬁnished winding his watch, replaced it in his pocket, and replied: “I’m the timekeeper. Every day at noon, my job is to blow the big whistle which tells everyone in town that it’s noon and time to quit for lunch.”
The jeweler hesitated for a moment, and then he said: “That’s odd. I’ve been setting that big clock in the window every day, for all these years, by the noon whistle at the factory.”
So it transpired that the people of this particular town had been quitting for lunch, and setting their clocks at what they thought was noon, but which was a long way from it.
Have you ever thought about the position we would be in if we spent our lives following the example of people who were in turn following us? It’s a rather horrible thought, isn’t it?
Although it’s a perfectly natural tendency, this follow-the-leader game can get us into a lot of trouble and keep us from realizing our opportunities and our potentialities if we let it continue. Each of us should realize that what others do, the way others conduct themselves, is not necessarily what we should do, how we should behave. We should form the habit of checking on things. If we hear some gossip, we should not believe it until we personally have proof that it is true.
I remember being told as a child that only poor people were happy, that rich people led miserable lives. Later, I could see this was a lot of nonsense. Some rich people are extremely happy and some who are poor are quite contented with their lot in life. Or, you’ll hear some nonsense about a particular race or religious group. Don’t believe it. Check on it. Beware, particularly, of generalizations. Start the habit of forming your own independent opinions through observation, study, and research.
If you believe what the majority tells you, you will be wrong most of the time for the one thing the great majority of people will ﬁght hardest to keep, is their ignorance. Most people would rather appear absurd than admit they are wrong.
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Also published on Medium.