A long time ago, in a prior life of mine when I worked in the armored car services, we had our bi-annual weapons certification course. Every six months we would have to get together with some state appointed instructors to qualify on our firearms to meet a minimum requirement by the state in order to keep our armed guard’s license, and in turn, keep our jobs. In addition to proficiency and maintenance of a firearm, we would have class training where we would go over the use of deadly force, the legalities of deadly force, common questions on conceal carry, and a host of other things all weapons related.
One time the instructor mentioned, Sheep (or sheeple, he had a high opinion of the general populace), sheepdogs, and wolves. Now for those of you that don’t know, sheep are the general population. Stupid, defenseless, crowd mentality, and weak. Wolves are the predators, villains, and bad guys. Sheepdogs are the “good guys.” The protectors of the sheep. The hero’s. Think cops, military, first responders. He went on and on about the virtues of being a sheepdog and vilified the wolves as much as he could have. But something about it sat wrong with me. Something was off.
Plato referred to his guardian class, his sheepdogs, as “noble puppies.” I’ve borrowed that phrase many times myself – but aren’t puppies and sheepdogs both a bit too cute? Perhaps even insulting? Would ancient warriors have wanted to be called “puppies” or “sheepdogs?”
What is a sheepdog if not a domesticated wolf who, as the result of his breeding, training, and conditioning, does exactly what he is told?
A sheepdog is a pet. A sheepdog has a master. His master owns him. The sheepdog’s master is not the sheep. His master uses the sheepdog to control the sheep, who are his assets with which he will do as he pleases.
Perhaps a “sheepdog,” then, isn’t such a noble thing to be after all.
And being the sheep of a man who imagines himself as a sheepdog isn’t so great either.
If men are loyal to your tribe, and they are willing to maim and murder other men to protect you, why insult them by calling them slavish, domesticated pets? Why not call them your wolves? Don’t wolves defend their own pack?
If you are fighting to protect people you care about – your people – then why fight like a sheepdog when you can fight like a wolf?
I couldn’t have said it better.
The idea of being a “wolf” has gotten a bad rap over the years. I think that it’s time that we as men need to take the word back and make it an idea, or a virtue if you will, to live up to. It’s not bad being a wolf.
Personally I would rather be known and seen as a wolf instead of a sheepdog.