Follow the leader or Blindman’s Buff? ~ where are we going and who do we follow?

I took this photo in France in April. The line is a column of caterpillars from the pine processionary moth. These creatures migrate en masse to pupate, and do so in a line where each creature holds the rear end of the one in front of it. You can(with gloves, as they are quite toxic, and their hairs are a severe irritant) link them into a circle so that they literally go round and round for hours.

Leaving aside the wonder of nature, step back and think about current human behaviour. We’re no different to these little caterpillars, blindly following our leaders, naively believing they know the way. In essence, we take it on trust that the people we follow have a better idea of where we as a society need to be going.

Along the path were many such processions, some inching their way to the grass on the other side, but many were squished into mulch by bicycles and feet. Following the leader does not protect them from harm, and their soft carcasses might have been covered by irritant hairs, but wider and wilder forces were at work.

If you have driven in thick fog, you might have noticed the inclination to hang onto the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you. It’s normal human behaviour, to follow a leader.

But it might be time to pay closer attention ourselves to the road ahead.

4 thoughts on “Follow the leader or Blindman’s Buff? ~ where are we going and who do we follow?

  1. I think we can learn a lot about ourselves from nature. I love the way you wove in our inherent need to follow almost blindly and we do so, so often.

    Sometimes a leader is worth it though. But one should always have an idea of the direction they are going in and make sure we’re heading in the same before we put our trust out there.


  2. Wow! that’s cool!

    I started to comment with intent to say something wise and witty and indeed with my serious head on I am inclined to muse on it philosophically…but with my immature head on I am still laughing at the idea of getting them all going in a circle – mean but funny!

    I shall have the theme-tune to the Magic Roundabout playing in my head all night now…

    I am SUCH a kid – sorry about that…


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