Let’s Talk about the Herd.
Herd, is, by definition:
…a typically large group of animals of one kind kept together under human control — a herd of cattle
…a congregation of gregarious* wild animals
*tending to associate with others of one’s kind : SOCIAL
…a herd is a social group of certain animals of the same species, either wild or domestic. The form of collective animal behavior associated with this is referred to as herding. The term herd is generally applied to mammals.
…a number of animals kept, feeding, or traveling together.
…sometimes disparaging — a large group of people.
And from the online etymology dictionary:
Old English heord “herd, flock, company of domestic animals,” also, rarely, “a keeping, care, custody,” from Proto-Germanic *herdo (source also of Old Norse hjorð, Old High German herta, German Herde, Gothic hairda “herd”), from PIE *kerdh- “a row, group, herd” (source also of Sanskrit śárdhah “herd, troop,” Old Church Slavonic čreda “herd,” Greek korthys “heap,” Lithuanian kerdžius “shepherd”). Of any animals, wild or domestic, from c. 1200; of people, often in a disparaging sense, from c. 1400. Herd instinct in psychology is first recorded 1886
Herd Immunity. A discussion.
Is anyone else offended by the phrase? Or at least perplexed? Do you refer to your family + your extended family as a herd? Do you refer to your family, your co-workers, your classmates, your sorority or fraternity, your associates, your neighbors, your fellow church goers or citizens that way? Do you say “We are having a herd reunion this summer”?
So, this begs the question — why does anyone?
We are families, communities, groups, fellow townspeople, and gatherings — of people.
Someone decided, in 1400 (acc. to the online etymology dictionary), to include people in the reference to — animals kept feeding or traveling together.
How much would you like to bet, that this “someone” was NOT A MEMBER OF THIS “HERD”? By definition, the “someone”, who changed the reference to include humans, had to have been someone other than human. Someone outside of the group of “animals” being referred to. Someone who, if not physically separate, considered themselves somehow superior to that which was referenced by the category. Someone not part of the “herd”. Think about it. Unless you are removed from said term, the term is unnecessary.
Words are powerful and we are only just stepping up to that fact. This is a show, and we are part of a program. It’s been running for thousands of years. For 600 of those years now they’ve been referring to you and your mother and your grandmother and your great-grandmother and your great-great grandmother and your great-great-great-grandmother — as a herd; in my case, “a herd of Loves”. Does this matter? Really?
I think it does and I’ll tell you why. The boiling frog story is illustrative of what’s happened to us. Here’s a definition: “As the story goes, researchers found that when they put a frog in a pan of boiling water, the frog just quickly jumped out.
On the other hand, when they put a frog in cold water and put the water to boil over time, the frog just boiled to death, slowly without realizing or noticing he was fading away.”
We’ve been mesmerized by the program and have ignored the credits. It matters what you call people. Like it or not, we have a tendency to name things on this planet. What we call you illustrates what we think of you. We have pet names for our kittens and our puppies and our lovers and our children. We use titles for those whom we want to show respect. We use first names for those whom we are close or with whom we imagine ourselves to be equal. We denigrate, with words, those for whom we have little regard, no respect, or disgust.
The WHO and the CDC and multiple assorted various officials, whom were elected by us, are calling us animals. This, by its very nature, demonstrates what they think of us. This, by the term’s definition, tells us that they’ve assumed ownership over our health and right to decide what is best for our life. Like when you have a dog or a cat and have to decide whether or not to put it down, or go for the operation or treatment.
And we are okay with is.
You may be thinking “It’s just a word. It’s convenient, that’s all. They care about us.” To that I’ll reply the final thoughts of the frog referenced above “Man, it’s getting warm in here!”
Time to wake up.
I believe in you. I believe in love. I believe in us.