I am a sheeple with my big wooly sheep coat. You can herd me in your meadows and I will do what you say: obey traffic signs, wear masks on airlines during a pandemic, attend public schools, collect a social security check (someday!)
I am a sheeple, a member of society, and I will follow rules that help us live together in a hopefully harmonious way. Off to nursery school we go, unto marriage we bind, into assisted living we rest.
You who try to shame us with the word sheeple–people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish or easily led–are sheeple, too. We’re all sheeple as we’re guided by our culture, our society, our civilization to live and work and play together in ways which attempt (and often fail) to protect the greater whole. To protect the vulnerable, the fringes, the poor, the unsung, the homeless, the weak. To maintain order, health, safety for the precious herd.
See that stop sign, dear sheeple? Let us stop, shall we? Let us not crash. Let us honor our fellow drivers as they drive home weary after a day at work, their eyes glazed and heart yearning to reconnect with loved ones.
I am also a lone mountain lion, a cougar, a panther. An individual with fiercely individualistic teeth and paws and sleek coat. You will find me high atop a craggy mountain, deep within the green forest, traveling a steep ravine. You will find me researching, thinking for myself, scanning the horizon for danger and safety, playing with my pups as autumn stretches its lazy afternoons forever.
I wear my own opinions like warm winter coats. My beliefs like yellow work gloves. I don’t think like the crowd. I’m not mainstream. I think differently than you and you and you. Unique, aren’t we? Fingerprints so distinct and unrepeatable. A snowflake never before seen–and never witnessed again. Don’t blink. I am falling from the sky just to melt away by noon on an October day.
Oh you dear cougar, you hungry individualist, you special, distinctive, quirky being–oh how I love you for being yourself! Shine on, shine on. Howl to the moon in all its phases. Be as eccentric and quirky as you create and re-create your amazing self.
But, I do beg of you, do not eat your sheeple self for dinner. We need both parts of ourselves to live and thrive and co-exist with our fellows. We dance with these partners daily: me, us, me, us, me, us.
It’s not individual rights versus collectivism. It’s not a me versus civilization. It’s both/and. We need both. In the dance one moves, one pivots, one sways, one holds, one lets go, both reconnect.
Call us two-faced, if you will. But see if you can discover both parts within, the sheeple and the cougar. Perhaps, if you like inner microscopes, you might keep looking for more animals. Oh, there’s the wee mouse of myself, so timid and industrious. Here’s the eagle flying high with broad views. See the raccoon wearing her mask and washing her sweet hands? Look–I’m a porcupine, too, all prickly and shooting quills into those who disagree. And now, see the precious rabbit hopping away into another rainy cool October day? Keep hopping, my darlings, keep hopping!