Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997 said:

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. They are sheep.

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 safety in denial.

there are sheepdogs. 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. If you have a capacity for
violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined
an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.

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."

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

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

The world can not 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.

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men."... Edmund Burke.

"Only the dead have seen the end of war."... Plato

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ideas.


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