The Shepherd

Ian had been looking forward to coming in to town on this early Friday morning. Now, hustling down the paved walkway of Midland Avenue, he wondered why he looked forward to such errands. If there was one thing he didn’t like, it was forcing a false bond with people he didn’t know, and frankly didn’t care about. He was polite and respectful of other people, but when it came to shallow conversations about the world, he simply wasn’t interested. It was an arduous task in such a small community to avoid these conversations, when everyone seemed to want to know his name and what he “did” for a living. What does anyone do for a living?

A good question. His mind started to race down a familiar path, but he was helpless to stop it. In all his years, he was unable to avoid visiting the same thoughts time and again, searching for an answer or a conclusion that always seemed to elude him. He had a sort of optimistic-cynical opinion of the world, if that was at all possible. He had always thought that the world was a terrible place with great potential for good, but there was always something or someone keeping it from becoming what it should always have been.

What do people do for a living? People are avid children of the misled. For generations, the society of man has slowly been architected into something entirely unfamiliar to this world. This unfamiliar society beckons it’s children to follow into the depths of depression, poverty, and death. People buy because they are told to do so. They work because they are told to do so. They eat, ride, watch, exercise, play; all because first and foremost, they are good followers. They are sheep, and the misled are the shepherd. The misled are the men behind the leaders, the business, and the product. They are the hidden voices behind the curtains. These voices saturate our world, and pervade throughout time’s steady march of history.

So, what do people do for a living? They work, because someone tells them that they must. They buy, because someone tells them that they are in need. This, in turn, persuades friends, family, and neighbors to work, to buy, to watch. Over time, the voice in the curtain sounds more familiar. It passes from suggestion to advice, and from advice into truth. The sheep spends a lifetime in search of something that it will never find, simply because it has only looked where the shepherd has allowed it to.

So, wherein lies the answer? Do we eliminate the shepherd, or do we free the sheep? It is difficult to answer. Eliminating the shepherd only scatters the sheep, because without leadership there is no function. Freeing the sheep from the shepherd lends itself to a similar conclusion. Where, then, do we look?

The answer is balance. Because leadership is always necessary, the misled must be balanced by an opposing force. Without this balance, the misled hold monopoly on thought. In lieu of this monopoly, we have choice, and with choice comes free will. Because of the nature of humanity, we will remain together, always in community. Torn between the balance of two opposing sides, we will remain together and in the middle, where choices can be made. There will be deviants, but the masses will remain somewhere between.

There once was such a balance, but it has long been lost. Humanity has fallen into a one-sided affair, where it’s people have little choice on how to live their lives. Time has dulled our senses. Generations of surrender has stayed our tongues. Battles have been fought, but they are now long forgotten. Now, there is only acceptance. We are all sheep, and our shepherd is calling us.