When I was a kid we used to have this saying for those who’d copy us. I went like this, “Copy cat, dirty rat, sittin’ on the butcher’s hat!” Then we’d poke out our tongue at the person copying our work (or style) and mark them with disdain, sort of vexing them… you know, the evil eye and all that. As kids we were brutally honest weren’t we?
Kids copy; it’s a temptation many bow to. We have the same issue as adults though it’s less purposeful--we tend to copy what others do, at times without realising, and especially if we see a reward in it.
For instance, on the roads we mimic others in a second. I do perhaps 3-4 hours of driving most days of the week, due to my home, work and family locations being disparate geographically. I will often be sitting right on the speed limit on a long straight stretch of road and notice someone tear past me. Others behind them see it, and they do the same thing. Without the model of the first driver, I wonder if others would follow so quickly.
I see some amazingly stupid things on the road due to this very phenomenon. And I do the same things myself from time to time--that is, take unnecessary risks in a moment without thought.
Basically all of us assess what we can get away with rather than opt for what is right--to get to the destination in one piece, intact and unscathed. To remain safe on the roads we need to reach for this higher standard, not going the way of the mob.
It’s the same in all areas of life, not just on the roads. We need to strive to do what is right no matter the consequences.
Copy cats are never really better off in the end. “It is better to live right and be poor than to be sinful and rich.” –Psalm 37:16 (CEV). There is much peace for the person who forges their own path based in what is right.