Discussion in 'Ninjutsu Resources' started by KSprenk, Feb 27, 2006.
This article was sent to me and other people at my dojo by my instructor, it is a bit long but good.
that was a damn good read, cheers for sharing it
while in general these type of articles on the surface may seem to have a ring truth to them , it is also a myth that seems to have grow a life of it's own with careful tending by those who have an agenda . All people have the capacity for violence if put into the right environment. There is no separation between the Sheep , Sheep dog , and Wolf they all reside within all of us, we are all of them rolled into one. However we tend to only put on the persona of the one that suits our personality culture or agenda so to speak. Some people can switch these persona with ease to and justify it with statements of the greater good etc. It is also a matter of perspective as to how one is viewed. Within your own circle/culture etc you may be one or the other
but you may be viewed outside of your own circle/ culture as quite the reverse.
I started a thread on Kutaki some years ago (I just did a search and it must have been lost in one of the server crashes). This thread was called Sheep People and was a response to some comments I read on another board.I won't go into great detail here, I will however outline the post.
I am an ex shearer and spent 10 years in the shearing industry and I very much though along the lines of the article about people and sheep back then.However my views change when I brought home an abandoned twin Ram Lamb and we raised him as a pet. He was brought up sleeping in the same kennel as my 2 Staffordshire Bull terriers. As he grew he just naturally acted like the dogs. He would sit , shake hands etc just like the dogs. I then went on to train him as an guard animal for my workshop and he was very very good at it better than the dogs. He could not be bribed with food being naturally territorial he would let no one in to his space (the area surrounding my workshop) He was also very very dangerous as he was a Poll Ram Meaning no horns , so just looked like an innocent (big) little sheep so was very deceptive.I taught him a party trick to break wood , I would hold up a lump of wood and give the command Lamb Chop and he would run at me and head butt the wood and break it. He use to back up 20 meters and run and rare up on his hind legs and head butt a steel and concrete phone pole outside the workshop all day just for fun. All our friends would ring before visiting us to ask if the sheep was locked up. One guy arrived with a very large Mastiff dog in the back of a ute one day, the dog jumped out and ran at the Ram to attack him and the Ram rared up and head butted the dog and knocked it senseless . However the one thing that really struck me was how devoted to their family sheep really are. He ended up with several Ewes and several lambs of his own and he would go off and collect all his male offspring every day and take them for lessons and try to teach them all the things I had taught him to do.
So to underestimate a Sheep can be a very costly indeed.
This holds true with this article, to think we are just one or the other of the Sheep Sheep dog or Wolf, is a very dangerous limited way of thinking, not to mention it can also lead to thinking we are different from others giving us then a reason (agenda) to justify our actions against others on those very shaky grounds.
Very interesting read, but a little too idealistic IMHO.
I agree with fire&steel in that we have all three within us, and we have the capacity too unleash any and all as the environment or situation dictates.
The only other thing I would add is that there is a fine line between being prepared for the worse and being paranoid. I'm probably the only person in my very large family to properly study an MA, but my family has lived their lives just fine, with the majority of the deaths in my family being from old age.
Finally, I know it's just an article, but why are wolves always the ultimate bad guys, they're no more 'evil' than any other carnivore. Which I guess could be the flip side to fire&steel's argument about sheep, with some of the people we would consider wolves doing what they need to survive given their situation. I'm not condoning criminal behaviour, just saying it's all too easy making an 'us vs them' distinction without all the facts.
As a quick example, while doing an course on insurance investigation a few years ago, our teacher, who has MANY years of experience in the field, told us it is not normally the unscrupulous evil 'wolf' that commits insurance fraud, but the ordinary, middle/upper class 'sheep' who looses everything and panics who is the most likely to commit fraud.
Just my opinions though.
EDIT: Just thought I would add, that IMHO, the sheep are not disturbed by the sheep dog because he looks like the wolf, or is a constant reminder of the presence of the wolf, but because they have become weary of the 'wolf in sheep dogs clothing.' Again, just my opinion.
Hey everybody, relax: Grossman is using a device known as "metaphor". Google it.
Certainly literal sheep can be protective. And literal wolves are in my experience fine people indeed: I've run naked with some beneath the moon in the mountains of northern California (literally), and wrestled and traded taijutsu tips with those and with another in southern Oregon (again, literally).
I still think Grossman's overall description is pretty good.
(so okay, my paternal aunt is a traditional Comanche medicine woman, maybe that helps explain this. . .)
Just to cause people to think, let me take the other side of the debate.
(Check out my signature for my reasons. )
How many people in the martial arts, and the Bujinkan, see violence as the sole means of a situation? How many people say that they practice Bujinkan say they are doing so to protect their family, but don't have a smoke detector in their house? How many people in the Bujinkan you know have never been to CPR training? Or don't have a first aid kit? Or have read books on explosives but have never read the natural disaster precautions you can find in the phone directory?
That's an excellent post Grimjack...the tastiest food for thought yet.
We know a man that put his 6 year old boy in TKD. "It's to build the kid's confidnce" he said. When the 2nd installment of Lord of the rings came out and we were all going to see it, he brought his son with him to the cinema. The kid got scared from that scene where the dead come out of the water. "Can we go," he asked his dad.
"Stop being such a baby!" the dad growled. "I paid 12 bucks for that ticket..stop being a scaredy cat...the others will laugh at you."
How's that for confidence building???
We see what we want to see and get out of life what we want, discarding the rest if we don't agree with it...kind of like Pizza Hut's Salad Bar.
Interesting story. Makes me wonder though: if there are sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs (who protect the sheep from the wolves), isn't there also a sheperd whom the sheepdogs obey?
Good one, if the sheperd is evil then the sheepdogs gonna take advantage of the sheep. Sound familiar anyone?
If the sheperd is dodgy then he takes advantage of the sheep and possibly the sheepdog and the wolf!.
Sounds like a joke about Scots. . .
I thought about the pig movie "babe". Not aout anything else.
Has to be when he calls the sheep Baaaaabra
As this thread delves into so many issues regarding sheep...I think all Greeks and New Zealanders should refrain from posting...
mmmm sheep! :love: :love: :love:
I wasn't getting upset or anything, but Grossman posted an interesting article on a public forum, and so I decided to post my opinions on it. And as you can see by my reply, I also used metaphore, for example, the wolf in sheep dogs clothing thing.
I apologise if it appeared as if I was attacking the original poster, as I was merely attempting to illustrate my view on the topic.
On a side note, fire&steel's story about the sheep IMHO was relevant to the discussion, as what I believe he was trying to say was that even the sheepiest of sheep, depending on the situation and environment, can out sheep dog a sheep dog.
Err, did that make sense? :Alien:
Anyway, I honestly meant no harm by this or my previous post, and think it is a very interesting discussion. :Angel: (New Zealand jokes as well! )
Um, I am not Grossman I just passed on the article.
Sorry, I didn't bother to check that before I posted my second reply.
I to was using a metaphor, mine just happened to be true in content. It was not the metaphor that was in question just the message.
I agree with Cannibal Bob in that I found it very idealistic in its message.These type of articles need to be taken with a large dose of salt.
Grim's post was also very valid and people should take note. In my life time so far, I have helped many more people with my First aid certificate, than I ever have or are likely to with my Martial arts certificates.
I thought I had it all down "pat" per Grim's questions.
Smoke detectors? Exactly where my friend Robby, a volunteer Firefighter, advised they be placed. Check.
Fire extinguishers? In the garage, in the kitchen away from the stove, and in my bedroom in case I should have to escape a fire using it. Check.
First aid kit, if just a very basic one, check--in my car, and in my house.
Ultra-bright glowsticks, water dye packs, signal flares in case of accident, in metal containers, in my car, check.
Red Cross CPR and First Aid training, check.
Even got my flu shot.
Now, what did I forget to check last year?
That's right--a month after my car passed State inspection:
The tread depth on my tires.
Almost cost me my life as I drove into a sudden snow squall, drove over snowcovered bridge, and my car's rear tires broke loose as a goose. My traction control took over, and instead of spinning in a nice, big circle, my car literally righted itself, and I was able to limp over to the shoulder. My error--in checking the tread depth (but in having the correct p.s.i.)--was so simplistic I am embarrassed to point it out. And I wonder how many other people leave their houses, not knowing whether their contact patches have been reduced to slicks since their last tire rotation.
Grim is absolutely right: even the sheep dogs--or the shepherds--can overlook the ridiculously obvious, and not realize that "wolves" (the beautiful creatures) can come in many forms.
After reading your post Snake I realise just how unprepared I am for everything.
Also, I agree that it's so easy to neglect just one tiny detail, no matter how prepared you ultimalty are.
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