My husband and I stopped by a local goat pen to meet the herd. The owner came out and told us all about the goats. The one in this picture is called Blackie for obvious reasons. He is the only back goat in the herd.

We have driven by this herd for many years, and we noticed when Blackie joined the fun. He could often be seen near the group, but not part of it. He always seemed to keep to himself. The owner confirmed that observation, and had no explanation.

 Blackie keeping himself separate has always made me think about my own life. Where was I in terms of the larger group? Was I part of it, or somehow just on the fringe? Did I join in freely or stay a bit to myself? I had to admit that in certain groups, I jumped right into the mix. Often times I took on a leadership role quickly and with ease. In other groups, I remained on the fringe. Why? I thought about that too. I realized I separated myself for a couple reasons – to let someone else lead, to let someone else learn the lessons that group inclusion provided. In other groups it was that I was not sure of my role or place, not even sure I fit in or wanted to…uncertainty. 

How do you react to groups? Are you a joiner, a leader, or do you feel like the black goat? The only one in the herd, different and thus not welcome? Is that reality, or self imposed? There might be a group that needs your leadership, so don’t be too quick to let your own preconceived ideas of membership keep you from sharing your gifts. Maybe you are the black goat who brings a needed different perspective to the herd…take a chance and find out.