Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Of Sheep and Wolves....

Last night I had an interesting discussion with a gentleman that felt that the 'Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs' analogy was not accurate and that it's use should be discouraged. He had some compelling points about how the sheepdog was a narrow role that truly is not represented in society. I pondered this overnight and have to disagree.
Quoting Dave Grossman:"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf." A sheepdogs job is to confront the wolf. That is true for the human sheepdog as well. I have heard many people say, "I'm not a sheepdog, I will only protect my family." I say that they are sheepdogs too, if only for one simple reason, you choose the size of your flock. It doesn't matter that you are unwilling to risk your own health to protect a stranger. If you have the capacity to cause another person bodily harm, and will do so in the defense of your 'flock'(family, friends, co-workers, domestic partner, or even the entire mall on black Friday), you are a sheepdog.
Nobody is asking you to be John McClain, you don't have to be willing to hunt down and kill evil doers for the greater good of society. Simply be willing to protect your flock.
When I was going thru a prominent law enforcement academy, we were reminded that when off-duty it was better to be a good witness than a hero. This ties in with the law enforcement in India not hunting down the terrorists. Law enforcement is trained primarily to investigate crimes, and only rarely do they have the opportunity to stop them in progress. It's the old 'establish a perimeter and wait for the big boys'. Sometimes you have to man-up and be a big boy. Sometimes you have to be a sheepdog and protect your flock. Sometimes you have to look at the greater good of society and expand your flock.

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