“The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.”
Not many are fortunate enough to be born into a perfect life, with just the right amount of knowledge, or with the skills necessary to succeed. And even if we are, we are still bound by the limitations and paradigms that control our parents, our teachers, and our loved ones. We are shaped by our environment and to a greater or lesser extent, we were all born as sheep to a greater or lesser degree.
You may argue that you are not controlled by paradigms or the habits of others. But consider small things such as what you like to eat for breakfast. How you take your coffee, or what type of car you drive. Where did you get these habits from? Did you decide what you like in your coffee or did you follow an example from your parents, your friends or even a teacher. The fact that most of us wear clothing on a daily basis proves that we all conform to societal conventions. Even anarchists wear pants...
Ask yourself what paradigms control you.
You may still believe that your mind is a citadel of impenetrable force of will incapable of being dominated by other thought. Take a step back and really measure this. Whatever occupation you perform, who taught you how to do it? Do you still follow the advice of your teacher? Was your teacher right or wrong? If you still follow the ‘hows’ your teacher set forth, are you not still controlled by that paradigm?
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Whoever taught you how to cross the street probably told you to look both ways before doing so. Sound advice. Something you should probably be doing as a matter of habit, but what other habits do you have that you might not even understand you are doing?
Commiserating with friends about an injustice and not doing anything about it could be one such bad habit. Believing your vote doesn’t count is another bad habit. Voting left or right because your parents or teachers did so could be a bad habit if it’s not what you truly believe.
This subconscious following of the herd mentality is a place of safety.
An individual sheep in a herd has a certain amount of safety. When the shepherd comes to slaughter a sheep, it will likely not be you. Should a wolf kill a sheep, the greater the number of sheep the greater the chance that it is not you.
However, as time wears on, the likelihood that it is you grows exponentially.
Sheep may or may not want to be sheep. Sheep may or may not know that they are in fact sheep. Many people go through life believing they are victims of circumstance. Many believe that the cannot achieve greatness or even success because they don’t have enough money, the right education, or the right network. Many think that since life has dealt them an inferior hand that they must suffer as their parents, or family has suffered.
Paradigms are a collection of habits. (sic)
Often the tougher the circumstances in our lives and the more odds stacked against us, the more we fall into a victim mentality. I’m too fat, too old, too young, don’t have the right education, don’t have the right network, don’t have this or that.
This is all illusion. Ideas do not require money or special social status to entertain.
Going through life believing old dogma without question or challenge makes one a sheep. Accepting the world as it is with no hope of improvement other than that from some outside force, also makes one a sheep.
So what do sheep do? Pray their lives will improve, or just wait life out for some magical paradise in the sky. Sheep accept the notion that life is best lived through mediocrity and top down authority, taking anything that the world graces them with.
The life of a sheep is not just the life of a follower, but rather the life of someone being directed. Someone’s whose opinions were formed and changed at the whim of popular opinion or corporate media.
Sadly, many Libertarians too can be sheep.
Anyone who knows that there is a great injustice occurring and does nothing to fix it is a sheep. The sheep’s duty and purpose is to fulfil the dreams and wishes of the sheppard. Sheep are born to be slaughtered, not to be prosperous and free. One can say then that blindly moving forward and going along with the herd will ultimately lead to one’s own peril.
Shed the false comfort of wool. Expand your comfort zone by running for office or taking on a leadership role in a Libertarian campaign or organization. Continue to stretch and climb and you will find that your potential has no boundaries. Remember, every expert first started as a beginner.
"Rise and rise again until lambs become lions."
C. Michael Pickens
C. Michael Pickens is the CMO and Co-Founder of CannaSales, Inc., former Northern Vice-Chairman of the LPCA and Chairman of the LPWA, and author of the book, "Libertarian Leadership."