A guest post from Susan Tilsley Manley.
To be called sheepish is generally an insult - a mindless follower easily led, no original thought, intention or courage. But I ask, if the sheep trusts her shepherd, and knows that the shepherd uses her power for good, then is the sheep following dumb or blind? Or is she making an informed choice based on what is best for her?
At any time, livestock can bolt.
At any time they can wander.
If a sheep appears to obediently follow, maybe it's not about flock mentality so much, as survival instinct. "If I stick with this person, and do what I'm advised, my life will improve."
I called Chris a shepherd the other day, and joked about her increasing her flock.
She sees potential and nurtures it. She doesn't waste her time and efforts on stubborn old ewes who simply won't change. She's not into lost causes. Like the farmer at auction, she'll bring home critters who she can nurture, who'll enrich her flock.
So to be chosen is really a compliment. To be coached, herded, helped, advised is a gift.
If you look, really look at a photo of a flock of sheep, you'll see every face is different. Every one unique within the community. I think this is how Chris sees.
I am happily willing to stick with my shepherd. And it is scary to change, to follow advice that I may not want to hear, to trust my coach, AND I believe my life will improve. So it is an act of courage on both our parts to venture forth together.
Go ahead, call me sheepish. Baa Baa.