***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 >