Persuading sheep:
My father, gentle spirited man, had a few words and phrases that he always spoke in s special tone of voice.  They were bad subjects.  One was “carbine.”  That is a weapon that looks like a rifle but shoots a pistol round.  It combines the inconvenience of a rifle with the poor range and accuracy of a pistol.  It works best on civilians.  More recently it has been called “assault gun.”  Sure.  Real sexy.  Another  phrase was “child fondling.”  With that one, he was not alone in his anger.  The really bad one was, “impudent to your mother.”  Skies darkened.  The earth cowered. 

With my mother there was only one bad word.  “Sheep.”  People who mindlessly did what others did merited nothing for her.  I suspect she never suspected just how many there are.

There is a rather sad story that I think comes from Asia Minor.  Shepherds were watching a flock near a cliff.  A sheep stepped off the cliff.  Others noticed the first had moved and themselves moved in that direction.  To the grief of the shepherds there was nothing they could do.  The entire flock went over the edge.  Only about two thirds were killed in the fall.  Eventually the pile of sheep at the bottom of the cliff was so big that the new ones falling on top had a cushioned impact and rolled down the heap to safety. 

That is the sheep mentality.  That is a problem for anyone who wants people to take a fresh look at what they are thinking and doing.

On the other hand, it does mean a ray of hope.  Once the idea strikes home enough times, everybody else will be able to follow along easily.  This is particularly true since there is no crash at the bottom.  And not everybody has to agree, not a third by a long shot. 

But some day that one step will be taken.

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