Sheep, Wolves or Sheepdogs: Take Your Pick

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Anton Mauve, “Shepherd, Sheepdog and Sheep,” c. 1880
Anton Mauve, “Shepherd, Sheepdog and Sheep,” c. 1880 (photo: Public Domain)

“Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves. Watch out, for there will be those who will arrest you and take you to court, and they will whip you in the synagogues. For My sake you will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to tell the Good News to them and to the Gentiles.” (Matthew 10:16-18)


In his book, On Combat, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, recounts a clear assessment of human nature and society.

He explained that most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can hurt one another only by accident. This can be backed up by crime statistics, considering the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. This clearly means the vast majority of Americans aren’t inclined to hurt each other.

And since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the number of violent criminals is substantially less than two million―perhaps as low as 500,000 sociopaths.

These are the wolves who skulk among us looking for easy prey. These wolves are cowards and often work in teams. None of them are brave enough to fairly engage an equally-armed opponent in the open light of day.

The word “sheep” isn’t meant as a pejorative. It’s just means the basically nice people who can’t or won’t stand up for themselves or for others. Some are cowards. Others are just embarrassed, emotionally overwhelmed or ignorant about how to behave in a terrifying situation.

Wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. There are evil men and women who gladly and glibly commit evil for their own benefit without regard to the wellbeing of others. Those who believe everyone is basically good are also sheep. Those who, for politically correct reasons, chose to ignore the evil committed by some are the worst sheep ― they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

But all is not lost. Col. Grossman pointed out there was another option available to us.

One can be a sheepdog.

Sheepdogs are those individuals―men and women―who refuse to allow evil to triumph. To them, there is an objective right and wrong. Good and evil aren’t merely “social constructs” as is believed in many strange climes these days.

Todd Beamer, the New Jerseyan on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who used his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking by Muslim terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. His last recorded words were, “Let’s roll,” just before he and his fellow passengers overpowered the terrorists intent on killing yet thousands more in Washington, DC. Those sheep on that flight transformed into sheepdogs and the plans of the cowardly wolves came to naught that day.

Beamer was a sheepdog. Requiescat in pace.

The sheep beg God to send them help―the sheepdogs are those who answer that call. For all the insipid talk about  “pacifism” and other emotionalized fantasies, we need good men to protect those who can’t protect themselves. This is not to say that there aren’t women who can do the same. Rather, men have the natural tendency to lead and protect. Training to be a sheepdog means to put the natural tendencies in all men to good use.

There are some who insist that sheepdogs are the “real” wolves. They are quick to change their tunes when the real wolves are threatening to blow down their houses. Like Rudyard Kipling’s Tommy. Everyone complains about the presence of sheepdogs, but the moment evil rears its ugly head, hypocrites are quick to order Tommy to shoot to kill.

Thus, much of what feminists call “toxic masculinity” is actually male compassion and protectiveness for those who can’t protect themselves. And for those who disagree, so what? Americans dial 911 about 220 million times each year. As there are nearly 330 million Americans, that means Americans make 0.66 emergency phone calls per year. As Americans can expect to live about 78 years, that means every American can expect to make dozens of calls in their lifetime.

That’s the fancy way to say, we’re not going to give up our police forces anytime soon.

Soldiers, police officers and feminists who commit outrageous, unjustifiable evil? These are wolves pretending to be sheepdogs and use their positions of power to hurt or manipulate people ― no better than the more apparent wolves. Be wary of those who shout “police brutality” but laud their own violence towards their opponents. This is why we have prisons.

I recall a clearly disturbed man staring at me as he quickly walked toward me on a New York City street. I stepped out of his way to give him room but, foolishly, he adjusted his path to confront or otherwise impede me. His malice intent was apparent in his eyes. I stopped and stared unblinkingly at him. I’m told I have a stern visage when in danger but I’m not one to carry a mirror with me so I have to take my family’s word for it.

The man stopped ten feet ahead of me and announced that he was, in fact, “crazy.” That did nothing to improve my mood or make me want to accommodate him. He reared back his arm intent on punching me but I unflinchingly maintained my position. When he saw I wasn’t scared by him he stopped and quickly hightailed it across a busy intersection intent on putting the devil between him and myself.                                                                                  

Admittedly, it was the middle of the week at noon in New York City so this is a pretty common interaction with New Yorkers. But it illustrates the difference between a wolf and a sheepdog. Wolves are empowered by their own sense of entitlement, narcissism, inferiority issues, a puffed-up ego, alcohol or a long-held grudge, and want to make hay while the sun shines. They are frightened of sheepdogs and always look for weaker prey.

So leave the virtue signaling to the hypocrites and other wolves. Don’t be that weaker prey. And thank God and never stop praying for the sheepdogs among us.