Monday, May 16, 2011

Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

This goes out to all the shepherds/sheepdogs. I pray they will remember who they defend and why, and to be uncorrupted by the very power they hold over the darkness.....
Sheepdogs defending sheep from wolves graphic.....

Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your "student activity"
regarding the proposed memorial to Col. Greg
Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect
you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from
conservative folks like me.

You may be too young to appreciate fully the
sacrifices of generations of servicemen and
servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow
students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways
of youth and your naivete. It may be that you are,
simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a
sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are.

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States
Naval Academy November 24, 1997 said: "Most of the
people in our society are sheep. They are kind,
gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one
another by accident." We may well be in the most
violent times in history, but violence is still
remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are
kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting
each other, except by accident or under extreme
provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the
sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves
out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? 
You better believe it. There are evil men in this
world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment
you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a
sheep. There is no good or safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live
to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you
have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy
productive citizen, a sheep. I f you have a capacity
for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens,
then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.
But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a
deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have
then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking
the uncharted path. Someone who can walk into the
heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia,
and walk out unscathed.

We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what
makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that
there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact
that fires can happen, which is why they want fire
extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire
exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of
them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed
police officer in their kid's school. Our children
are thousands of times more likely to be killed or 
seriously injured by school violence than fire, but
the sheep's only response to the possibility of
violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to
kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they
chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He
looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the
capacity for violence. The difference, though, is
that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever
harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms
the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.
The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a
representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a
constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. 
They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to
go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the
ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding
an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the
sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white,
and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up.

Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind
one lonely sheepdog. The students, the victims, at
Columbine High School were big, tough high school
students, and under ordinary circumstances they would
not have had the time of day for a police officer. 
They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say
to a cop. When the school was under attack, however,
and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways,
the officers had to physically peel those clinging,
sobbing kids off of them.

This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog
when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened
after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on
the door. Remember how America, more than ever
before, felt differently about their law enforcement
officers and military personnel? Understand that there
is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it
is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a
sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing
around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze,
barking at things that go bump in the night, and
yearning for a 
righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn
for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little
older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the
guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think
differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never
come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the
attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that
is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't
on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors,
said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of
those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." 
You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog,
the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. 
Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and
thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of
the population There was research conducted a few
years ago with individuals convicted of violent
crimes. These cons were in prison for serious,
predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and
killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority
said that they specifically targeted victims by body
language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of
awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do
in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that
is least able to protect itself. Some people may be
destined to be sheep and others might be genetically
primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that
most people can choose which one they want to be, and
I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are
choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001,
Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury,
New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on
Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell
phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about
the hijacking. When they learned of the other three
passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd
and the other passengers confronted the terrorist
hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred
among the passengers - athletes, business people and
parents -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they
fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number
of lives on the ground.

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing
all possible evil of evil men." - Edmund Burke. Here
is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the
thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to
each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born
as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are
wolves. They didn't have a choice.

But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can
be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral
decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be
a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the
price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your
loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog
there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you
can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you
down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or
love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the
warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and
moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and
prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive
moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a
yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing,
either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a
continuum. On one end is an abject,
head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the
ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one
end or the other. Most 
of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up
that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a
few steps toward accepting and appreciating their
warriors, and the warriors started taking their job
more seriously. Its ok to be a sheep, but do not kick
the sheep dog. Indeed, the sheep dog may just run a
little harder, strive to protect a little better and
be fully prepared to 
pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the
sheep moving from "baa" to "thanks".

We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot.
We just need a small pat on the head, a smile and a
thank you to fill the emotional tank which is drained
protecting the sheep. And when our number is called
by "The Almighty", and day retreats into night, a
small prayer before the heavens just may be in order
to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep.
And be grateful for the 
thousands - - millions - - of American sheepdogs who
permit you the 
freedom to express even bad idea

Thanks for reading this. May you think upon it. May
you, too, remember the rancher - he is responsible for
his sheep and his sheep dogs and for ridding his ranch
and aiding those ranches nearby in ridding themselves
the wolves. That rancher is a busy man and is quite
often appreciated even less than the sheep dogs. Too
bad there is so much misunderstanding - even within

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