It Is Not The Role Of The Sheep To Tell The Dog His Job

In moments of crisis, there are always those who will tell you that it is necessary to be pragmatic and stick to the prescribed path. When there is a wolf threatening the safety of everyone, they tell you we all need to stick together for safety. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Later, when the wolf has been dealt with, we can worry about mending the fence through which the wolf entered, where more wolves may yet enter.

There is certainly a degree of wisdom in such council. A herd mentality is not a bad thing, especially when there is no clear-cut answer to the threat a herd faces. Often, when trouble arises and I have no idea what the proper response to it is, I look to see what others are doing and take cues from them. When one doesn’t know what one is doing, it is quite natural and even appropriate to seek the safety of the herd. There is safety in numbers even among sheep. I’m not above allowing my ovine instincts to guide me when no other voice is there to speak better advice.

But it is not the job of the sheep to tell the dog his job.

Often, confident in their groupthink, sheep believe their way is the only way, and bleat loudly at any who behave in a different manner. No, the ovine way is but one way to deal with outside threats. It is the way approved by their shepherds, who’s job it is to guide the flock. And so caring for the flock are the shepherds, the sheep tend to forget that the shepherds look after the flock only for their own purposes.

It is the only the dog who selflessly looks after the sheep. He lives among them, asking no more than his daily bread. Often times he is lost in the flock.

But when the wolf draws near, the dog differentiates himself from the flock. His senses are always alert, his sense of smell and sight especially acute. The dog is aware that danger can present itself at any moment. That is his job.

While the sheep fear drawing attention to themselves, the dog will bark out its warning. The barking may be disconcerting to the flock, which they may find unnecessary. They may mistake the harsh tone of the dog as a threat to themselves, and so wish the dog would be quiet. But the dog senses deep down its duty and knows what it must do. It rests upon him to protect the flock.

When the wolf infiltrates the flock, the sheep panic, not knowing what to do. But the dog knows. It does not panic but attacks the threat, selflessly protecting the flock.

When the wolves come, behave like sheep if that is the best you can think to do. But do not stop the dog from his duty. Do not trust the wolf who comes among you in sheep’s clothing. Trust those who have lived among you, who have never asked anything from you, who have proven they mean you no harm. But do not ask of those who live among you and who have the innate desire to look out for others to keep silent.

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James Rozoff

James Rozoff

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