Even Sheep Have Feelings

Meet the most captive audience I’ve had yet. Charlie and I met these woolly wanderers on our morning walk today and it got me thinking about a word I’ve seen popping up on social media a lot recently. Sheeple. It seems to describe people who mindlessly go along with the majority on an issue, without properly thinking it through themselves. It’s a derogatory term and one that is usually bandied about in order to insult or criticise.

It’s reared it’s head in respect of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests. I’ve also noticed it being thrown about with regards the upcoming US presidential elections. And, yes. It’s important that we make our own decisions on these most important of matters. We need to educate ourselves, research the issues and not be swayed by those who shout longest and loudest. It’s called having a mind of our own.

Most of us do in my opinion. We can no longer use ignorance as an excuse given our access these days to the media and internet. Yet, still the word ‘sheeple’ abounds. And, in my humble opinion, it has an aggressive edge to it. Many who use it do so, simply because the objects of their derision are not siding with their viewpoint. It’s the ‘I’m right, you’re wrong, so you must be a mindless sheep if you won’t accept my view of the world.’

It’s fair to say I’m not a fan of the word. Everyone is entitled to have, and express, their own opinion so long as it doesn’t hurt or harm anyone else. I think it’s called democracy. There is enough pain and suffering in this world without more unnecessary antagonism. Be kind to people. Even those you don’t agree with. Learn to respect their beliefs and values. Who knows, one day they might agree with you or vice versa. Even sheep have feelings.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

30 thoughts on “Even Sheep Have Feelings

  1. I’ve seen that phrase bandied about too, Stephen. I don’t like it much either . . . it’s used in ignorance and arrogance.
    Did you see that sheep on the news that was sold in Scotland for almost £400,000? ! Valuable for it’s breeding

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  2. I hadn’t seem the word, but you are so right. The divisiveness and the sense o a zero-sum game, meaning if your people obtain something, then my people was cheated out of it, is so disheartening to see. Electing a black president seemed to make some whites in Ameria feel that they are now the victims of racism. I pray we will not see a race riot, but anything is possible in this atmosphere of hatred and distrust of others who think differently from ourselves. It has to get better.

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  3. Well said!! We do need to think for ourselves. And intolerance does come from those trying to force their opinion on the rest of us. Shouting seems to work for them, silencing opposing opinions. If we catch on to their strategy we will become immune and continue to think for ourselves. Our world needs rational minds without an agenda.

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  4. I’ve taught at the university level and it is quite disheartening how so many of them think that just because they read it on the internet that it is true. I encourage them to research, compare data, look at evidence before forming an opinion. I stress that there are opposing opinions and that it is perfectly acceptable for others to have their own opinions. Research that opinion for supportive evidence rather than emotion. Scary thing now is that there has become a “shout the opposing view down” culture. This has become quite frightening in academia. Minds are closing. You must spout the party line (whatever party that is). Civility has gone out the window. It is frightening. I cannot imagine how this generation would do if they could go back to 1978 and witness me and my classmates debating issues with civility and respect. I think this under thirty generation’s heads would absolutely explode! We used to debate. We used to agree to disagree. We would then look at strategies from both sides to form solutions that would help the groups as a whole. Sad to see what has become of society now. Very, very sad, indeed. Satan in the flesh (Adolf Hitler) said that “it is good for governments that people do not think.” (brainyquotes.com). We must think for ourselves or else history could go on repeat. . . Thank you for your blog post. I didn’t mean to write so much but I firmly agree with you. People must think for themselves. It is dangerous when we don’t.

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  5. Keeping an open mind is key to where we need to be, whether it’s today, in the past, or in the future. I train local government elected members in meeting procedures and debating which includes a number of key principles: act in good faith, as Jenny points out above undertake due diligence (do your research, ask questions) , keep an open mind right up until you vote (In our system in Western Australia, party politics is not allowed and you cannot abstain – so your vote can decide an issue issue based on your well informed thoughts). Social media and the herd mentality is a constant topic re how it impacts on good governance and how it undermines making good decisions and so we explore how to deal with it during such sessions.

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  6. I like the title of this post. Consistently I have to remind myself that I am not better or worse than anyone, but my actions might be. The choices I make can encourage others or work to being them down. I chose kindness. As RuthScribbles says above, it is contagious.

    Thank you for sharing Stephen.

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  7. I try to get my information directly from the closest source or very credible publications, not social media. I also want to know what God says about any issue in our society. The Bible is timeless and God’s ways should always be the standard in any civil society. Our nation is having a breakdown of our Judeo-Christian foundation in America. Words and what is accepted as politically correct should never be our model. We are all too easily offended. We should all try to give more grace to each other….overlooking our imperfections. All have fallen short and mess up some times.

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  8. I’ve never heard of that term but I do think that we need to learn to “agree to disagree.” Not everyone is going to agree on everything. We all are going to have differing opinions. We do need to learn to think on our own and do research on things we aren’t sure of…… Ignorance is not bliss.

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  9. Pastors often like to talk about how dumb sheep are, and that’s why we need a shepherd. They also remark on how sheep bite. Somehow I don’t think this is a compliment to the pastor.

    There is also this story about how a shepherd would break the legs of a sheep that would keep running away; the shepherd would then carry the sheep around its neck until the legs of the sheep were healed. After that, the sheep would be so attached to the shepherd it would never run away again. Well, apparently, that’s a terrible story that only a Western pastor with no understanding of shepherding would make up! Breaking a sheep’s legs would be, a) incredibly, horrifically painful and b) cripple it for life, because they don’t feel straight. So, the sheep would therefore never be able to keep up with the flock and would probably be eaten.

    Which would, on hindsight, solve the shepherd’s problem of it running away.

    😂

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