I wish I were a regular sheep, just another sheep following the rest of the herd. Life would be so simple and easy for me then. I could follow the herd every day and feel like a member of some sort of ruminant sorority. I’d have a clique all to myself, a clique where we would all be exactly the same. I wouldn’t have to speak for myself or even think for myself for the rest of the herd would do that for me. I could greet that outside world beyond our fence with complete and utter apathy while fully engaging myself in inane pursuits along with the rest of the sheep. I’d be living life with a blindfold on, allowing injustices and ironies to continue in this world without having to utter a single word in protest. Inequality, discrimination, oppression, negligence … I would be oblivious to everything wrong in this world because I would be so comfortably nestled within my enclosed pasture. I’d be entirely wrapped in a thick blanket of ignorant bliss if I were just another member of the herd.
But I’m not.
I’m that black sheep way in the corner, trying to eat my way through the fence while the rest of the herd is off in the distance and gathered under a bogus sun. I’m there, standing alone and wanting to break free from that enclosed pasture. It’s difficult for me to want to partake in the herd when the herd takes great pride in ignorance and apathy. I always needed more. I will forever want to explore beyond that fence and gain knowledge and power and a better understanding of the world. I want to stand up for myself. I want to race out into the stormy skies and protect those who cannot shelter themselves from the blows. I want to kick and scream for those who cannot speak for themselves. I want to loudly proclaim the statements that many are afraid to even whisper. I want to completely annihilate the barriers that keep us from gaining the smallest of goals. I want to be a small part of the reason why things may change for the better in this world.
So don’t be afraid to be that black sheep. Don’t be afraid to stray from the herd and make your voice loud and clear. Embrace what sets you apart from everyone else and take pride in knowing you are different. Speak out, stand up for yourself and do everything in your power to set things right. It’s the black sheep who are brave enough to fight and change the world for the better.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.