There I was, scrolling through my Facebook feed as I usually do during the morning prayer at church (usually thinking I should add some of my friends to my prayer list) and I happened upon a political cartoon published in a magazine in 1999. While usually I would have ignored any political post on my feed, one word stuck out and that’s the cartoonists use of the word sheep.
The cartoonist predicts Trumps candidacy in 1999 and shows an illustration of a potential press conference where Mr. Trump identifies the press as sheep and he remarks that the coverage by the press and the Americans watching only work to build the Trump brand.
I chose this because of the derogatory use of the word sheep. Sheep are known for blindly following a leader. There is however a great importance to sheep-like followership. Sheep can spark a movement. Sheep that follow without questioning the leader are still great followers to have. Other sheep will follow the herd, and sheep know and recognize their shepherd. When sheep get lost, they can trust that their shepherd will look for them. True shepherds are also known to safely leave the flock to rescue the one sheep that got lost. With (good) leadership like that, of course sheep will be loyal. So while sheep may not be the ideal follower, they still play an important role in any movement that a leader hopes to inspire. Leaders should also be cognizant of their sheep for other reasons. With sheep who follow blindly, losing a sheep may be a good indication that you are leading in error. How terrible might that be, to lose someone that you thought you could count on to always be there.
Here’s a suggestion from me: Don’t neglect your sheep. Sheep might just be the ticket to having it all or losing it all…
…especially in your presidential campaign.