I made an agreement with my husband long before we wed that I wouldn’t run alone after dark. Last week, when my stress level had peaked, I decided to go for a run to let off steam. Temperatures in my area hovered around 110 degrees all last week, which did not make for ideal running weather. But I had to get rid of the stress.
So, as dusk approached, I laced up my sneakers and headed out. Because the sun was nearing the horizon, I deviated from my preferred route, which is not well-lit. Instead, I circled my local drainage park, which spans more than a quarter mile from one end to the other.
Normally, this park would be practically desolate at that hour, especially in the heat. But thanks to Pokemon GO, lots of people meandered the green belt, looking for the augmented reality creatures they needed for their game. And because of the game players’ presence, I felt safe running around the park.
There is safety in numbers, after all.
Sometimes, though, we can become too at ease in a crowd or a team, not wanting to stand out and be different. And rather than safe, that can be dangerous. You’ve heard the saying, “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” That’s just one example.
It’s easy to give in to peer pressure. It’s much more difficult to dare to be different. Yet it’s important to stand up for what you believe in. There are times when it’s safe to go along with the crowd, but there are also times when we need to branch out on our own. Don’t be afraid to do that.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"