It’s as if they posed for me, and honestly, I think they did. Such content and happy faces on these little sheep. Nothing seems to bother them. They always go with the flow. We shear them down and make them more comfortable in the warm months, and they happily eat their grass and hay. They get covered with mud and snow and ice in the winter when their wool is thick and warm, and they happily eat their grass and hay.
|Can you see the smiles?|
The tendency people have to use the term “sheep” in a derogatory way these days surprises me. Apparently, because sheep are so complacent, this is a reason to mock them and apply the name to people who are also complacent. The idea is that if you don’t fight for your rights and strike out courageously, you’re a robot or slave or “sheep.” If you just “settle” for what you’re handed, you’re a fool.
Well, I am all for defending rights and speaking up and going after what I want, but I think people have the noble sheep all wrong. It is not that they are complacent or dull or robotic or foolish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sheep are what I would call “Zen.” They live in the here and now. They don’t worry about past days of lack. They don’t long for former days of plenty. They don’t get frightened over what might happen in the future. They take each day as it comes, and they savor it. They know that the truly good things in life are companionship, a good meal, a comfortable home, and peace.
What’s wrong with that? Believe me, when sheep aren’t happy, they let you know about it. They are extremely vocal--extremely! They just want what they want, and they’re not afraid to go and get it. But they do this within the parameters of their reality. They do it with what is available to them at the time. They don’t waste precious days or energy worrying about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence. They know that the grass is just as green on their own side, and they can appreciate what they have.
You might call this complacency, but I think it’s wisdom. We would do well to learn from the sheep. We would do well to appreciate our days, whether warm or cold, to appreciate the sunshine and the snow, to appreciate a comfortable bed to sleep in. We would do well to remember that even with its difficulties--and there are always difficulties for every creature on the Earth--life is still truly good.