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On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs (Pt.2/Final)

Posted 11-03-2009 at 03:11 PM by kurow
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

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

Here 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. But 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. If 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. But 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.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...

"Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.
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  1. Old
    Jdbl14's Avatar
    no offense, but this is as old as the internet...
    Posted 11-04-2009 at 04:57 PM by Jdbl14 Jdbl14 is offline
    Updated 11-04-2009 at 05:33 PM by Jdbl14
  2. Old
    D-Boy's Avatar
    That's not the point.
    Posted 11-04-2009 at 10:38 PM by D-Boy D-Boy is offline
  3. Old
    blacksheep_p's Avatar
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW8BZ7pRt28

    A video by a guy who goes by "NutNFancy". Has some other good stuff as well. Just saw it and thought of your blog.
    Posted 11-05-2009 at 04:50 AM by blacksheep_p blacksheep_p is offline
  4. Old
    kurow's Avatar
    It's okay D-Boy, Its Jdbl14's way of saying "I got first post on kurow's blog!" LOL

    No really,what is the point, I don't get it.
    Posted 11-05-2009 at 07:48 AM by kurow kurow is offline
    Updated 11-05-2009 at 12:42 PM by kurow
  5. Old
    D-Boy's Avatar
    I was speaking to jdbl14. You are preaching to the choir.
    Posted 11-05-2009 at 03:06 PM by D-Boy D-Boy is offline
  6. Old
    kurow's Avatar
    Good find blacksheep.
    It's funny how when you read the comments you see things like, murderer and my favorite, "Being strong is teaching others how to become better people." Its scary. You mean that I am a bad person because I am "ever vigilant"? Don't get me wrong, I am not saying go out there and start buying guns. I am saying that you have to be ready for anything.

    I wanted to direct this towards those who posted to this when I put this in the general discussion by accident. There was someone who posted about his girlfriend being upset because he purchased a weapon to protect them. This is not what it is meant by being a sheepdawg. Then there was someone who was talking in reference to war and diplomacy as tools. No one is saying train for war ONLY. If that is what you have gathered then we are missing the big picture.
    Posted 11-06-2009 at 07:48 AM by kurow kurow is offline
    Updated 11-06-2009 at 10:20 AM by kurow
  7. Old
    blacksheep_p's Avatar
    I agree Kurow, being a sheepdawg is not about owning guns or being a warrior... It is about self sacrifice and empathy for your fellow man. You can be a sheepdawg by volunteering at your local soup kitchen, or at the other extreme, signing up for the military. It is about giving of yourself to others and protecting the morals and ideals that both you and society at large value as right.

    It is about doing the right thing when called upon, not being militaristic, though the example that you chose could lead people astray and make them focus on that instead of the point of the story.

    Side note: Isn't it a little funny that a topic about sheep comes up, and then my name makes it in there somehow? I got a little laugh out of the irony there.
    Posted 11-07-2009 at 12:20 PM by blacksheep_p blacksheep_p is offline
  8. Old
    kurow's Avatar
    There was years ago, a buddy of mine and I, were going to a training op in Cincinnati with the STRIKERS. We seen a semi-rig over-turned. I immediately hit the breaks, pulled over and began running over to the rig. My buddy ran to the back of the vehicle we were driving in and grabbed his kit bag and double-timed it over and checked the driver. He told me that the guy was unconscious and some of his scalp was peeled back.

    I began checking the rig, noticed fuel was leaking but there was no fire and informed him everything was okay. Anyway, An off-duty medic arrived but didn't have his gear with him. My buddy was giving the medic bandages and wraps, things of that nature as the medic asked for them. The medic asked for a certain size of gauze of bandage and my buddy didn't have it, just the size smaller.

    Later that night after training at his place, I remember how he kept looking in the distance with this blank stare. I asked him whats up and he replied with, "I should have had that size bandage". I told him that he did what he could and that he was where he was, when he was suppose to be. And although he didn't have that size, he was still more prepared than that off-duty medic.

    The point in my rant is that, My buddy is a true sheepdawg. He felt that he let the injured guy and the off-duty medic down when he was more prepared than those who were on their cell phones, passers by and of course those who just stood around and watched.

    I love you bro, you know who you are.
    Posted 11-07-2009 at 03:39 PM by kurow kurow is offline
    Updated 11-07-2009 at 06:43 PM by kurow (spelling errors)
  9. Old
    Jdbl14's Avatar
    Kurow- That wasn't my point. I know you don't know me, but I am still offended by your judgment.

    This whole thing is so old, a gross oversimplification/generalization, and it's really over-quoted. There are plenty of "sheep" out there who go protect the "herd". In my experience many "sheepdogs" are really more like the "wolfs" then they'd ever care to admit. I've heard so many "sheepdogs" preach about this theory that I've grown to be disgusted with it. I know the intention of this post was good. People who feel superior to other because they carry, are cops or military, disgust me.

    (note: I am pro guns/c-c, military, and leo. I don't like people with inflated self worth)

    In reality there are pro-active people who have morals and there are lazy immoral degenerates. do the right thing when you can and you'll be a far better "sheepdog" then most of those who believe they are a "sheepdog".

    -edit: In my opinion, this would make a better discussion thread then blog.
    Posted 11-08-2009 at 01:28 PM by Jdbl14 Jdbl14 is offline
  10. Old
    kurow's Avatar
    Unfortunately your opinion is moderated, Locutus would disagree with you. I tried doing so and the post was locked before I could reply to half of the things being said on there.

    I could say that I was offended too, but instead of being offended and claiming that I don't know you, wouldn't have got us where we are.

    The purpose of this is so that people can talk about it of their own free will and without persecution, the same persecution I faced at 16, being called a g'damned war monger. What the hell is that? But at the same time that person was happy when I kept her out of trouble with two f words in a parking lot.

    This is America, and although the land is free and the people are too, it doesn't give everyone the right to be offended about everything, because it didn't go the way they wanted it to. I can appreciate it, but it can be annoying at times. Come correct and correctly things will come to you. (To cast a shadow, you first must draw a flame)

    If you knew that this post was originally based on good intentions, why didn't you feel moved to act upon that? I am not saying that this is a one way road, I am saying that you can't be one way and the other way too. Then it comes off as contradictive.

    I can't speak for how everyone else views this topic, I see it as a motivator for those who are persecuted like me, day in and day out. To let them know that they are not alone in this world.

    And once again, you don't have to be a police officer, a solider, a freaking owner of a gun to be a sheepdawg. In retrospect, the term is used to best seperate the 3 to identify who is what and where does the reader rest. Yeah, when I first read this years ago, I said that it is a little juvenile to call names, but the point wasn't based on that. It was based on; and i quote from your words typed "do the right thing when you can".

    The person who came up with this is right in a moral way and wrong too. But that is the beauty of being human, no one is perfect. We still have to try and understand each other.
    Posted 11-08-2009 at 05:10 PM by kurow kurow is offline
    Updated 11-08-2009 at 08:11 PM by kurow
  11. Old
    Torque's Avatar
    Kurow,

    I think the basic nature being preached in your post is simply to 'be prepared'. Prepared for what? Well, prepared for the worst. And to that sentiment, I whole-heartedly agree.

    Yes, there will always be enemies. Yes, it's easy to let one's guard down. Yes, we as a nation can also let our collective guard down (9/11 proved that).

    So I'm a major proponent of 'being prepared'. I learned that concept studying Martial Arts for nearly 2 decades. But I've also learned that you can be humble about it. Humbly prepared. Prepared for defense, but not necessarily itching for a fight. Calm and ready. That is what I think separates many folks in this country from others, and where we as a nation often get confused. It is the simple act of being humble (yet prepared) as a nation of people.

    You post does highlight the fact it's easy to be 'unready' to receive an act of violence, or prepared to unleash the dog on someone when necessary. Training and being prepared for the day when that happens... at least you have a shot. Without training, well it is just wishful thinking and blind hope. This is why we must continue to recruit, train, and ready our military, LEO, etc.

    It's not 'warmongering' to be prepared. But it IS if you're so gung-ho, so worked up in a lather about the act of war itself, that you just can't wait to 'kill your enemies'. No one should actually relish war. No one should relish killing another human being. It's not something to relish in life. Just like a fistfight is not something you should relish or 'hope' will one day happen to you, so you can prove yourself. Just like 'secretly hoping' that the concealed handgun you are carrying will actually get used one day. The best prepared don't need to prove anything to anyone. They simply act if required, and then move on with life.

    I would like to see us as a nation, get back to the notion that War (our military muscle) is simply a tool in our toolbox (yes I was the one that originally posted that), that we can pull out if and when necessary with surgical precision and accuracy. That we've thought through all the reasons to use it, and ultimately what we will gain by using it. And that we've made every effort to mitigate using it as a last resort (diplomacy first, always and forever). I'm finally seeing some of that way of thinking now, but not as much with the former administration. Maybe this last bit is a little off topic, but I think it somehow relates to the overall message in your original post. Hope that this makes sense.

    Just my 2c.
    Posted 11-09-2009 at 03:31 PM by Torque Torque is offline
    Updated 11-09-2009 at 05:00 PM by Torque
  12. Old
    kurow's Avatar
    Your 2cents are well received Torque.
    Posted 11-11-2009 at 02:58 PM by kurow kurow is offline
  13. Old
    Tzar9k's Avatar
    Great topic. Ive always felt the need to be a sheepdog all my life. Ive been around the block when it comes to disaster already. I may be young and still naive to a certain extent but I really loved this post. Great job.
    Posted 11-13-2009 at 10:14 PM by Tzar9k Tzar9k is offline
 

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