In today's world it is easy to let yourself be drowned out by the voices of the crowd. The ethos of the age is essentially democratic, simply being the majority carries with it a sense of righteousness in American culture. I could endlessly debate the wisdom of that, and actually I more or less plan to for the rest of my life, but here I just wanted to jot down a quick reminder of why we shouldn't throw ourselves at the mercy of the crowd, or even the dominant forces of our world. Simply put the title says a lot, it's easy to be cowed, or give in, be domesticated, till the farmer comes looking for milk. Now when the farmer comes looking for milk that's when what you have done starts to become clear.
A cow gets fed, it gets the benefits of a protector, but it also gains the responsibility of yielding its milk to the farmer. Likewise the people cowing you are not going to be content with you caving a little bit. They keep coming back and steadily, slowly, surely domesticating you. Every view will be shouted down, turned around or pressured. I have witnessed this countless times in person and on social media. I have a friend who deletes all their posts when a particularly vitriolic person they know goes off on it. It didn't take long for the dominant person in that tandem to realize they could silence virtually anything my friend posted. But silence isn't the end game, it is for sure a via point for the final destination. Maybe you cannot relate yet. But let me try another example. We have all been in a fight with a significant other, and sensing it just wasn't worth it given in, only to find the other person not satisfied because "your heart wasn't in it," or "I know you still didn't want to," or "you did it but your attitude stunk." Sometimes in a close relationship that is fair and you are not getting over yourself when you should, but sometimes it is not that. Sometimes even the best mate has a desire to rule over you, and what they are really saying is, yes I won the fight, but I haven't conquered your heart and reshaped your will. . . of course no one has the right to demand the shaping of our will save God, but it doesn't stop people from trying. It doesn't stop us from trying, because we have almost all been both people in this analogy. Knowing this it is important to take stock of who we are dealing with and exactly what the milk they want from us will mean.
When it comes to social justice warriors and neo-marxists of the current American left they don't want responsiveness to their claims alone, no they want to conquer your heart with their ideology. They want you to self-censor, they want you to turn around and yield them the milk of echoing their conspiracy theories and strengthening their cancel-inquisition. To give it you have to yield up your will to them, you have to take every thought captive to their ideology, and press your mind into their service. Truly this milk is costly, you cannot give it up without losing yourself. The better road is to refuse to yield anywhere except for where you feel personally convicted. Now convicted is extremely different than feeling bad, and maybe this is part of what we have lost in our calibration of truth and morality. I can feel bad people hate me for a belief, but in actuality that is not conviction. Conviction is a sense of personal certainty, in the context of this conversation conviction is the personal certainty I am morally wrong or ought to yield.
Now if I am convicted I am wrong and I don't act on it then that's an issue of pride, I am not writing recommending anyone go out and defend their pride. Human pride is foolish and misplaced, it is not a true guide or a good friend to the wise person, but it is a boisterous companion of fools. No, I am writing to say that you should only give your heart over if you're willing to give the milk - and you should only do that when you're certain it's due. If we allow ourselves to be cowed and not convicted we will become domesticated by people and philosophies we don't believe, and that is an awful feeling. Giving up the milk to a farmer who hates what we believe at our core is odious and hateful, beneath the dignity of free human beings. Be a person, not a cow.