THOUGHTS ON SHEEPDOG PREPAREDNESS
There’s a philosophy that gets talked about a lot in the preparedness community called the “sheepdog approach.” It comes from an analogy that describes humans as either sheep, wolves or sheepdogs.
To give you a brief overview, I’ve broken down the analogy into its parts.
Sheep make up the vast majority of society. Peaceful, kind, gentle. Collectively, they are productive and make up the “greater good” of our world.
This is not to say that the sheep, in this analogy, are by nature weak, fearful, blind or any other negative attributes.
Yet, the sheep are vulnerable to the wolves. Yet, the reason sheep are vulnerable is not because wolves are more powerful and cunning. No, the real reason is because sheep deny the existence of the wolves.
Let me explain. Many people understand danger and have a desire to feel safe. For instance, almost everyone knows that a seatbelt can save your life. Yet, these same people often complain about taking their shoes off at the airport.
See the difference? It has to do with denial. Most people are more comfortable with accepting the fact that a dangerous accident can happen versus a violent person carrying out a willful act to injure, maim and kill. We’ll explore why this is a little later.
Wolves are characterized by two things among humans: a lack of care for the rest of society and a capacity for violence.
Many people visualize home invaders, terrorists or enemy combatants as the wolves of this world. Indeed, these are wolves. They are threats to the sheep of this world.
However, we can’t deny that there are often wolves among us. They may be wearing sheep’s clothing. They may not carry out violence themselves, but put others in harm’s way to achieve their ends by violent means. They may swindle sheep out of their peaceful way of living to selfishly make a better life for themselves.
To be honest, these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” are the reason I decided to build a company in the preparedness industry ten years ago.
At the time, not many in the industry seemed to have Americans’ best interests in mind. Fear-mongering and price-gouging was the norm. Others use ingredients intended for animal feed and label it “emergency food.” Others are owned by multinational (read: foreign) holding companies.
That’s why the world needs sheepdogs.
As the original Patriot emergency preparedness company, we’ve paved the way for many Americans who are seeking a real solutions to their concerns. Part of our mission is protecting the people we care about by doing business the right way. In this small way, the entire My Patriot Supply family acts as sheepdogs. You can too – read on for more.
The sheepdog protects the sheep from wolves. It alerts the flock to the wolf, and if necessary, defends against the wolf with equal violence. The sheepdog is capable of violence, but only out of love for people.
In our society, the most identifiable sheepdogs are our servicemen and women and law enforcement. They put themselves in harm’s way to protect the greater good. They neutralize the wolves, even if a wolf in sheep’s clothing sent them to do so.
Here’s where I deviate from a lot of folks in the preparedness community. I don’t think that all sheepdogs have to be capable of violence in order to stave off the wolves.
Our armed forces and police make effective sheepdogs because they know how and when to use violence. A lot of people think they are born this way, as natural sheepdogs. But the truth is, no one becomes a warrior or a hero overnight.
Today’s sheepdogs are constantly training, constantly learning. As the world changes, so do they. They are sniffing out new threats, becoming better equipped to handle them and so on. For us at My Patriot Supply, it also means developing innovative new products that can help us all get more prepared, more resilient and self-reliant.
Sometimes, I think many “sheep” tend to deny the threat of violence because at this moment, they are not prepared to handle it. It’s much more comfortable to deny it.
The bottom line is that being a sheepdog is more about mentality than your current abilities or capacity to take down the bad guys.
This means that everyone is capable of becoming more sheepdog-like in their everyday lives.
Even if you’re not prepared, right this second, to take down a bad guy with force, you can prepare. You can avoid riotous mobs at the supermarket with an ample emergency food supply. You can filter your water when it’s contaminated by money-grubbing wolves upriver. You can bug out to a safe location, far from the wolves who are waiting on easy prey.
While you’re at it, learning self-defense is never a bad idea, either. The point being, there are dozens of actions you can take to protect the people you care about. You can never deny the threats we face and you must take decisive action. That is truly what being a sheepdog is all about.
There’s one last thought I want to leave you with that is often overlooked.
What about the Shepherd?
One character that is left out in this analogy is the shepherd. Humans are either sheep, sheepdogs or wolves. Now maybe, just as in the biblical version of the analogy, a higher power is the shepherd. This makes sense, since the shepherd is ultimately responsible for the fate of the sheep, wolves and sheepdogs.
Yet, if we consider the shepherd as an enlightened being of sorts in the analogy, we notice some important qualities we can apply to our preparedness journey.
Ultimately, the shepherd is a leader who can see the whole picture. They train the sheepdog. They care for both the sheep and sheepdog’s needs. And they are careful not to lead either into a place where wolves can prey easily.
When some other preparedness experts say that the sheep would rather the sheepdog paint himself white and baa rather than bark, the point is that the sheep would prefer to deny the danger of violence.
But let’s face it, no human likes to be barked at, good reason or not.
That’s why thinking like a shepherd can be valuable as well. We need to lead as best we can in our circles of influence. Care for the sheep and sheepdogs, keep the wolves at bay.
We can do this by passing down the preparedness and self-reliance lessons we’ve learned to the younger generations. We can help the sheep of our flock act more like sheepdogs. We do this with grace and kindness. We’re never certain that we’ll succeed, but we know we’ve done our best to lead our world into a better, safer place.
To wrap up, I want to point out again that none of us are destined to be one archetype or another. All of us are part sheep, sheepdog, shepherd and even wolf. Inside us, there is a battle going on to determine who we will become. Who will win inside you? Well, that all depends who you feed.
Have a great weekend and stay safe out there, friends!
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply