Guest Post: Are you a Shepherd or a Sheep

***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 streaming itself through my head a while back, I had to make a note of it in my little book of wonders. It’s taken 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.


There 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?

In this world right now, there are too many bad leaders out there and there are far too many followers. There are far too many good shepherds and black sheep 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 needless destruction. Yet, putting aside all of that – the most important thing of all is that every individual encourages themselves at one point or another to separate from the heard and to nurture a mind which thinks for itself. A mind 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 for 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 agenda.

As artists it’s also important to be a free thinker, to create works 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 with 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 instead.

This world needs right now, possibly more than ever before, strong minds and gentle hearts. Minds capable of independence, ready to create the important changes that are so impotently implemented in our current societies. Social equality, social security, efforts to fight climate change.

A heart that leads with love is a heart worth following. 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.

Go to Blog of the Wolf Boy >

A day in the life of an unemployed millennial.

I’ve been unemployed since December 31, 2018. I was fired, without cause (legally speaking). It’s actually a bit of a story that I, at one point, had posted on this blog but took down. Regardless of details, here goes:

8:15 am – Wake up.

8:20 am – Drink BCAAs and cook eggs for breaky.

8:45 – 9:45 am – Some time during this period I will drive my mom to the cancer clinic. The time she begins her treatment depends entirely on what the doctor has scheduled so it is different each morning.

~ Sit with mom at cancer clinic, through appointments with Doctor and Nurse Practioners.

12:00 pm – Return home from cancer clinic. Make Lunch for myself, my mom and my dad (if he’s off work that day)

1:00 pm – Do dishes. My mom usually goes to nap at this time, so I am left with some freedom to pick up around the house, or watch Gilmore Girls. Usually it’s a bit of both.

2:00 pm – My Mom’s awake and now in her ‘cancer won’t get me down’ kind of mood, determined to go out into the world and do something. So I will take her out to run her errands, or wander around the mall. Just something to get her out into the world that doesn’t take place at the hospital.

4:00 – 5:00 pm – This is my sacred hour. During this hour I’ll look at/update my blog or head out on my own and just wander, decompress and calm myself.

5:00 pm – Start cooking dinner. Eat Dinner. Clean up Dinner. Do dishes.

6:30 pm – Help my Mom with various things.

7:30 pm – My Mom usually crawls into bed. I’ll take the dog for a walk, or watch Jeopardy. Or both.

8:30 pm – Sit down at computer and start looking for jobs online. Send my resume off for positions that don’t sound sucky or shitty. A lot of times I’ll send my resume off for positions that do sound suck or shitty as well. I’ll also respond to emails at this time, browse wordpress a little more and, play Clash Royale, watch TV or do something mindless and easy.

12:30 am – Go to bed.

Of course, not every day is the same. But, it’s a lot of just helping my mom at this time. She needs all the help she can get, lately. And, luckily for her, she has a lot of support from myself, my brother and my father. Cancer will do that to a family, though. I admire anyone who’s been through cancer with someone in their family. It’s a lot of hard work both for the person suffering and for the person looking after them.

Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, she should have a status of being in remission in just a few short weeks. I’m looking forward to her being healthy again, because I know she wants to go back to enjoying life and not feeling so sick all of the time.

I also think that soon enough, when she’s healthy and starts enjoying life again, perhaps things will change for me, too. I’m looking forward to going back to work. I’m looking forward to not having to worry so much. I’m just looking forward to life calming down a little bit.

This became a lot longer than I wanted too. People say that I’m the ultimate cliche because I am an unemployed millennial. I think, though, that’s what happens when you judge a book by it’s cover. Or perhaps I am normal and this is normal. Either way, the most important thing to me at this point in time is that my mom gets healthy again.

That’s all.

Wow. Okay.

My mom’s been in a bit of a bad mood for the past few months. In general she’s always been more of a bubbly person in nature, but when she received her diagnosis late last year, it was almost as though a darkness came out in her.

It’s definitely been something that my family has been trying hard to deal with, and to understand. I mean, I’ve never battled cancer but I’d like to think that if I had to, people would allow me to feel exactly how I wanted. So, for that reason, we’ve kind of just… let her be.

I’ve noticed though, that the times in which she crosses the line seem to be happening more and more as of late. And I’m put in this horrible position of trying to put her in her place, or letting it go, knowing what she’s just said or done is completely not okay but she’s battling cancer and it’s taking it’s toll on her.

This morning my brother, Aaron, called to ask her if she and my dad would come to his baby shower. His girlfriend is expecting their first child and her due date is in late June. Instead of just saying ‘Aaron, I am unable to come’, her response was ‘I’m not going to a baby shower before the baby is born because I don’t even know if that baby is going to live or not’.

Harsh, right?

Little bit.

My brother is about to become a dad for the first time in his life, I think of all of the things that are running through his head at this point in time, the last thing he needs to be worrying about is miscarriage. Especially this late in the pregnancy.

And don’t get me wrong. I understand that miscarriages happen. I do. And I understand that they still happen late in pregnancy. I get that. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to put that thought in the mind of a first-time-father. He shouldn’t have to be worrying about whether or not his baby is going to survive. There’s enough for him to be worried about right now.

I just really wish she hadn’t said that. Aaron is someone that I know personally has suffered from anxiety in his life and I worry now that he’s going to anxiously worry about this for the rest of his girlfriend’s pregnancy. I worry that he’s going to keep that thought in the back of his mind as he patiently awaits the birth of his first child – something that really didn’t need to be there and really shouldn’t be there.

We all understand that miscarriages happen. That doesn’t mean that you need to fill that thought in first-time-parent’s heads as they get ready to have their baby.

The whole situation has completely dumbfounded me. Why would she do this? When I talked to her when she got off the phone, my mother’s response was ‘I had two miscarriages, so it’s time they wake up and smell the realities of life.’ I really don’t think she understands at all what she just said.

All he wanted to do was invite her to a baby shower.

Perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps I shouldn’t have said anything to her. Perhaps I just should ignore the entire situation completely. I’m just of the belief that there are some things that, especially for an anxious mind, do you know good to be thinking about until they happen, if they even happen at all. Miscarriages are a very real reality for pregnant women, I get that, but I also think there’s a certain amount of decorum one should show with respect to the subject.

I tried calling Aaron after I spoke to my mom. I think he’s just pissed off and stewing right now. All he said was ‘It’s fine. She just needs to focus on getting better, I guess’. Clearly he’s taken the route of just ignoring that it happened. Or trying to ignore that it happened, at least.