Gung Hay Fat Choy!
It’s the lunar new year, and it’s the year of the Sheep (or goat, or ram, whichever you prefer).
So this got me thinking…
Have you ever been called a sheep?
It’s often thought of as being a negative – being a sheep. I’ve heard it used to describe someone as weak-willed, following the crowd, conforming to fit in without really thinking for themselves, or just going along with what everyone else wants them to do.
But I don’t know if that’s fair – to people, or sheep.
Because maybe it’s good to be a sheep…
Sheep are friendly. They like being together in a herd, and get stressed when separated from others. New sheep don’t have to look the same, act any certain way – they are just accepted. What if everyone in the world chose connection?
Sheep protect each other. Flocking is a natural behavior among sheep. They will run from things that frighten them and band together to stand against an enemy. What if people always protected each other?
Sheep collaborate. They don’t get in power struggles, or need someone to be the boss – there is no one leader in a flock of sheep – they often follow just the first one that moves. What would our world be like if people all worked together?
Sheep are peaceful. There are no turf wars or alpha struggles for sheep. They don’t care about any particular piece of land, as long as they are together. They don’t care about being in charge, or getting the credit. Sheep want to just be. What if we could spend more time just being?
Sheep are aware. Sheep rely on their senses to observe the environment and are constantly surveying. They have a wide field of vision (up to 306 degrees!), can pinpoint the location of a sound, and even smell water. What if we used our senses to be more aware of what’s around us, in this moment?
Sheep are intelligent. Sheep recognize and remember faces. They can remember complex mazes. They have been known to search out healing plants when not feeling well, and even rolled themselves over a cattle grate in Yorkshire to get to a better field. What if we focused on creative problem-solving?
Being docile doesn’t mean weak.
Being peaceful doesn’t mean less intelligent.
Accepting others openly doesn’t mean conforming.
In fact, being tender-hearted, friendly, collaborative, always thinking and observing – these are the ways I do want to be. And, with a good shepherd to guide me and a flock to help protect me, I know these are the keys to enjoy a good life.
Just like a sheep.