***In the first guest post to ever appear on #MillennialLifeCrisis, the following post was written by the talented Mathew from Blog of the Wolf Boy.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
Becoming the Shepherd
This thought was
head a while back, I had to make a note
of it in my little
book of wonders. It’s
me some time to get around
to writing it out, but
here it is…
There are those who follow and there are those who lead. That is the way of the world, and everyone has a place. Not all who follow are incapable of leading, and not all who lead deserve to be leaders. This world is full of sheep, but what does it take to be a shepherd? Well, in order to answer that question, it’s appropriate to determine just what makes a sheep.
What makes a sheep?
A sheep is a follower. A sheep doesn’t rock the boat. A sheep follows the herd and lives life as directed. They blend in with the crowd. They create similar works of art and produce similar quality of work as everyone else that they know in life. They keep their uniqueness buried away inside in case they might stand out. They’re most comfortable when they “fit in”. They don’t want to be the black sheep, that’s so faux pas. A black sheep is too likely to one day become a shepherd of their own, and that’s a scary place for the sheep-hearted to be. Black sheep and shepherds are liable to become targets for criticism.
So, what makes a shepherd?
A shepherd doesn’t follow the herd. A shepherd first knows themselves to the core and is capable of self-directed thought without influence from outside sources. A shepherd is first capable of leading him or herself. They do their own thing. They don’t concern themselves with the opinions of the other sheep, and eventually the other sheep may notice. They might notice the way this one is behaving differently than the others. They notice a courage, a uniqueness, a bravery. Some sheep may scoff and denounce this black sheep for not trying harder to be like the other sheep. Yet, the black sheep carries on. Until one day that black sheep becomes a fully actualized shepherd and they begin to lead.
When a black sheep becomes a leader, they share their story with others honestly and openly. They are who they are, and they love themselves for it. Strange, weird, and odd are all great compliments to one who values a unique identity. Shepherds aren’t afraid to try something different and to invite others along for the ride. They inspire and motivate. They have influence because they’ve created something original and there are so many lost sheep looking for their shepherds.
are good and bad shepherds
A good shepherd will care and nurture their flock. They will encourage their flock to grow to become shepherds of their own one day. A bad shepherd will demand their flock acts or behaves in a very specific way to mirror their own beliefs. A bad shepherd doesn’t want his sheep to ever grow to think for themselves, because then they may form beliefs of their own and he/she would start losing power. A bad shepherd wants mindless followers for the sake of maintaining power. A bad shepherd wants to use their sheep rather than nurture them because caring for his flock is not his/her priority.
Why am I writing this?
this world right now, there are too
leaders out there and there are far too many
followers. There are far too
good shepherds and black
ostracized for breaking ranks
with the packs of followers that
have been herded around
bad leaders for power’s sake.
When it comes to bad leaders, dissent is an action requiring punishment. Good leaders look to love and nurture. Rehabilitation
is more important then
Yet, putting aside
of that – the
most important thing of all is
encourages themselves at
one point or another to separate from
the heard and to nurture a mind
which thinks for itself.
which makes judgments of
its own will, rather than
blindly following the opinions of others around them. A mind strong enough
to keep its power
itself, rather than offering it freely to the first
turncoat which offers them a kind
word and blind faith
with the intention of manipulating for another
As artists it’s also
important to be a free thinker, to
unique to ourselves. Our true selves,
rather than variations
of work which are already out there. Rock
the boat, be brave,
be courageous, offer the world something new and if you do one day find yourself
a flock to care for – then
nurture them and teach
them to be open-minded and
thoughtful leaders of
their own. Don’t abuse your power over others. Radiate love
This world needs right now,
possibly more than ever before,
strong minds and
Minds capable of independence,
the important changes
implemented in our current societies.
fight climate change.
that leads with love is a heart worth
A mind that thinks for itself is a force to be
reckoned with. Evil relies on blind faith and hate
for empowerment. Be the change you want
to see in the world.
Who Will You Be?
I want to say thank you to Mathew from Blog of the Wolf Boy for taking time to write a thought provoking guest post for #MillennialLifeCrisis.
Mathew is a dad, a writer, a poet, a Canadian and keeper of an incredible blog. Blog of the Wolf Boy is one of my favourite blogs that I’ve discovered on WordPress and I sincerely hope that you’ll all take a a swift click over to his page and check out some of his impressive, thought provoking posts.
The fact that you cannot get an actual human being on the phone when you call a business in this day and age. Firstly, answering machines that say “Click 1 for —” and “Click 2 for —” are not helpful. They are not more productive than an actual human being answering the phone and they are not an adequate replacement for a human being answering the phone. Secondly, waiting on hold for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30+ minutes to speak with an actual human being is ridiculous. It’s annoying that this is considered acceptable customer service in 2019. “Then don’t phone them!” I’ve heard some say. Well, if I had the option of not phoning them, I probably wouldn’t be here waiting on hold for 30 minutes…
When someone phones you, doesn’t leave a voicemail and then immediately sends you a text message that says ‘call me’. You couldn’t leave me a voicemail? You couldn’t text me the message you want to talk about? If I didn’t answer the phone it’s because I’m clearly not able too. If you need me for something, leave me a message as to what it is.
Youtube ‘Influencers’ that don’t acknowledge they’re clearly being sponsored for their videos/posts. Regulations and law surrounding sponsorships/partnerships were put into place in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and many other countries for a reason – that reason being these ‘Influencers’ have a great deal of sway on how the people who watch their videos spend their money. So it drives me batty when I see someone who makes youtube videos clearly pushing something they’re being paid to push and not telling their audience that. There are a lot of naive people in this world and I don’t want them being taken advantage of because this youtuber is too important to follow the law. If you’re being paid to push it, you should be transparent about that.
When companies send the same generic “Thanks but we’ve selected someone with more qualifications than you” email to everyone. If a candidate jumps through all of the hoops of applying for a position with you, respect that. This often isn’t a quick process. This is filling out every form, answering all of your stupid ‘what would you bring to an office game night’ questions, providing references, taking part in pre-interview tasks, doing phone interviews, Skype interviews, and so on and so forth. It can often take 30 minutes for one single application. It’s annoying as heck that the best a company can give in return is a generic, computer generated email to let you know they haven’t given you the time of day and don’t intend to.
Mosquitoes. Seriously, it’s summer in Canada and these suckers are everywhere. And when I say suckers, I mean suckers. A bug that sucks your blood? How twisted is that. Then you’re left with this annoying bug bite that itches for weeks to follow. Or, if you’re lucky enough that you can swat and kill it you’re left wondering what poor sucker’s blood is now smeared all over your hand. Yeah, it’s that gross.
Washing dishes by hand. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, life is far too short to wash dishes by hand. That’s quite literally what they invented dishwashers for. If it can’t be washed in the dishwasher, it’s not a dish that I want to own.
When the traffic light turns yellow and 6-7 cars continue to speed through the intersection. Seriously, when did we become a world in which the biggest inconvenience in our day is having to wait an extra three minutes for the traffic light to change in our favour again?
Dear Autocorrect, I NEVER mean ‘Ducking’. Never. Never, never ever.
This list is mainly supposed to be satirical, but also with a hint of serious nature to it. I could go on and on with these things, but I’ll keep it to this, for now. I love hearing about things that annoy people and I love finding common annoyances with people.
There were fraudulent transfers made from my paypal (that forgot I even had) account last week. Read about it here >
I spent an hour on hold with PayPal. The PayPal agent agreed the payments were fraudulent, just by the information that was used on them, the time they happened, etc..
He said I would get a refund in five business days.
He also said ‘Call your bank, cancel your card. If it’s been compromised you don’t want this happening again’.
I was actually on hold with my bank at on my other cell phone at the moment he was telling me that. (You know how it is, in this day and age, having to wait a half hour before you get to talk to a human being and not a machine)
Total wait time for the bank was 35 minutes.
I cancelled the card, but before I did, I asked the bank and said – can they still refund me if I cancel this card?
He assured me, “Yes ma’am, the refund will still be possible with the card cancelled. It will be no issue.”
So I cancelled the card. For obvious reasons. I didn’t need any more money taken from me.
PayPal said I would have a refund in 5 business days.
Today is the fifth day.
I’ve been on hold with pay pal for 46 minutes. The one woman who did pop on for a brief minute and thirty seconds said they’re having issues with refunding me and asked if I could verify the card information.
I said “I cancelled the card”.
“Why would you do that? How are we supposed to refund you?”
YOUR FUCKING AGENT TOLD ME TO CANCEL THE CARD LAST WEEK. THE BANK TOLD ME TO CANCEL THE CARD LAST WEEK. THE WHOLE WORLD TOLD ME TO FUCKING CANCEL THE CARD LAST WEEK. WHY THE FUCK WOULD I WANT MY COMPROMISED INFORMATION OUT THERE FOR MORE CHARGES TO GO THROUGH?
“We’re having some issues refunding you because of what I’m assuming is your cancelled card.” She said.
“No way, Jose. I distinctly asked the bank about this last week,” I told her. “The bank said that even if I cancelled the card, the way the system works is an refund issued to that card information would be attributed to my person and my credit status with the bank and therefore be implemented onto my new card.”
PayPal woman “Well, we’re having issues, we’re going to need another 3-5 business days to figure out this issue”.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I can’t be the first person in the history of the world to have fraudulent charges made, cancel their card and expect a refund for the fraudulent charges.You’re fucking pay pal. You have how many millions of customers?
*Please note – the information contained in this post is not from someone of a medical background. It’s the explanation of a story to share and hopefully inform. Questions regarding this subject should be directed to a doctor or medical professional.
In 2018, after feeling utterly exhausted and ill for a long period of time, a doctor sent me for a blood test. This, being the first of many blood tests that I had done in 2018, revealed that I was/am severely deficient in Vitamin B12.
I’m sharing this story because it’s estimated that as many as 1 in 4 people are deficient in Vitamin B12 and attributing their tell-tale symptoms to something else. It seems like such a small thing, being deficient in one Vitamin, but it makes a world of difference in how your body and mind function.
What is the issue? Having vitamin B12 deficiency means that your body does not have enough of this vitamin. You need B12 to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen through your body. Not having enough B12 can lead to anemia, which means your body does not have enough red blood cells to do the job. This can make you feel weak and tired. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause damage to your nerves and can affect memory and thinking.
What causes it? Most people get more than enough B12 from eating meat, eggs, milk, and cheese. Normally, the vitamin is absorbed by your digestive system—your stomach and intestines. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia usually happens when the digestive system is not able to absorb the vitamin. This can happen if:
You have pernicious anemia. In this anemia, your body destroys the cells in your stomach that help you absorb vitamin B12.
You have had surgery to remove part of the stomach or the last part of your small intestine, called the ileum. This includes some types of surgery used to help very overweight people lose weight.
You have problems with the way your body digests food, such as sprue (also called celiac disease), Crohn’s disease, bacteria growth in the small intestine, or a parasite.
This anemia can also happen if you don’t eat enough foods with B12. People who eat a vegan diet and older adults who don’t eat a variety of foods may need to take a daily vitamin pill to get enough B12. Other causes include drinking alcohol and taking some prescription and non-prescription medicines.
What are the symptoms? If your vitamin B12 deficiency is mild, you may not have symptoms or you may not notice them. Some people may think they are just the result of growing older. As the anemia gets worse, you may:
Feel weak, tired, and light-headed.
Have pale skin.
Have a sore, red tongue or bleeding gums.
Feel sick to your stomach and lose weight.
Have diarrhea or constipation.
If the level of vitamin B12 stays low for a long time, it can damage your nerve cells. If this happens, you may have:
Numbness or tingling in your fingers and toes.
A poor sense of balance.
Dementia, a loss of mental abilities.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can also weaken your body’s ability to fight off infection, due to the lack of production of red blood cells. For me, the biggest symptom I suffered was a persistent infection that my body could not fight off. No amount of natural or medicinal remedies could cure the infection. Following the results of the blood test, the doctor attributed my lack of ability to fighting off the infection to my lack of B12.
The Blood test results showed that my body has less than half the recommended levels of B12 in my body. The B12 in my body was so low, The Doctor actually gave me a shot of B12 that very day before I left his office.
Symptoms I was experiencing with B12 deficiency:
Extreme exhaustion – I was having difficulties being awake for four hour periods at a time and sleeping, at times, up to 20 hours a day.
Persistent Infection – One that I could not get over, naturally or with antibiotics
Persistent Headaches – I had a headache every day.
Unbearable brain fog – I felt almost as though there was a dark cloud clogging my brain that was causing me to have issues thinking, reading and talking.
Joint Pain – I had frequent joint pain in weird parts of my body that I couldn’t explain. My mom said that I was arthritic like her, but when I started taking B12 supplements, the joint pain went away.
Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in the following foods:
Beef, liver, fish and shellfish
Dairy products: Milk, yogurt and cheese
Honestly, if you find yourself feeling frequently exhausted, look at your diet and see how much of these foods you eat or do not eat. Could your body be lacking in B12? Increasing B12 in your body is always a benefit and if you are low in the Vitamin, it’s a natural way to boost your body’s immunity.
Unfortunately, for me, these foods are not foods that I am able to eat, due to allergy, celiac disease and lactose-intolerance (which is likely why I was so deficient).
There is medical research comparing a lack of B12 in the body to increased rates of depression and anxiety.
Is lack of B12 cause your depression? From what I’ve read, very likely not. Could having more B12 improve your symptoms and make your depression seem less awful? From what I’ve read, probably.
As with all things you red on the internet that contain information about health, I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend speaking to your doctor about it if you do have questions. I’m not a dcotor, and I’m not stating that anything in this article is anything more than personal experience and information from the internet.
So please, please, please, whether you’re experiencing similar symptoms or have questions about something you’re dealing with, talk to your doctor.
I would like to boost the morale of my Twitter and Instagram feeds through finding new and exciting accounts. The feeds of both have been a tad down lately, with everything that’s going on in this world, and I just want to find some new accounts to brighten up m feed.
If you have a Twitter or an Instagram account and wouldn’t mind if I checked it out, please leave a comment with your username.
I just need some more sunshine in my life. You know what I mean?
(Oh, and if you want to check mine out, I am @ohmillennials on both Twitter and Instagram. Just in case you see me creeping your instagram stories)