“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”Mark Twain
When I first saw this quote, I was confused. Did Mr. Twain mean to insinuate that the majority is good? Or did he mean that being on the side of the majority is something we should be careful of?
Thankfully, a simple Google search revealed an answer- be careful about siding with the majority. To put it another way: If you find yourself joining the crowd, consider the other side.
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This quote isn’t especially profound. However, after pondering this for a few minutes, something hit me- this quote describes the crucifixion of Jesus, as seen in Matthew 27.
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
The majority of the crowd was screaming for Jesus’ death. In fact, it is widely acknowledged that the crowd present at the crucifixion was the same crowd that shouted, “Messiah, Messiah” during the Triumphant Entry. These people turned on Jesus within the link of an eye.
In Africa, we have something called “mob justice”. While I haven’t seen it personally, I have heard countless tales of encounters with this cruel way of resolving disputes. Mob justice is usually, but not always, found when a foreigner “mzungu” is accused of committing a crime in the public. From what I’ve seen, over 75% of all mob justice cases revolve around an American getting into a car accident, being falsely named the guilty party (which is impossible since Ugandans drive like maniacs), and being physically harmed by the resulting crowd.
However, there are other times in which a Ugandan is the guilty party. Once, a man related to our ministry, New Hope Uganda, was driving through a rural area, and hit a child running foolishly across the road. He had been driving in the dark and, for some reason, the child chose that precise moment to dash across the road. He hit the boy but didn’t kill him, thankfully. However, within just a few minutes, a massive crowd gathered, breaking his window and almost dragging him out of his seat.
By God’s grace, he escaped, albeit with a few bruises. However, this story demonstrates the true power of the crowd. When together, emotions run high and wild, changing people to be entirely different. When you’re part of a crowd, there’s no telling where you may be taken.
So, if you do find yourself in the majority, not only should you pause and reflect, but also think, “Are my emotions controlling me? Is what I’m doing right?”
Alright, guys, that’s all for today. Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day! If you haven’t already, be sure to click that Follow button in the bottom right-hand corner (or right if you’re on PC) so as to not miss out on any new posts. Thanks again, and I hope you have an epic day!
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