According to the thousand or so inspirational quotes doing the rounds on Pinterest, it’s apparently significantly better to be a wolf than a sheep.
Sheep are the weak, brainless followers, happy to spend their days eating, drinking and napping. Wolves on the other hand, are magnificent, brave predators. They thrive in drama, danger and adrenaline-fueled situations. The wolf has become a symbol of fearlessness, aggressive power and leadership, whereas the sheep seems to represent boredom, normality and mediocrity.
Everyone wants to be a wolf and no one wants to be a sheep.
But is that actually realistic? Is it even useful?
We’ve all met those people – who no doubt consider themselves to be wolves – who are only happy when instigating tension, confrontation and drama. Personally, I just can’t understand this kind of approach towards life. It just seems to make everything so much harder and more unpleasant.
That’s not to say that I haven’t tried thinking myself into being a wolf, in those times when I needed to find some assertiveness, bravery, determination or resilience. But as a naturally meek person, this has never really felt right for me. I just end up feeling like an impostor – like a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Really, when I think about it, I’m much closer to sheep in nature than wolf. And is there anything really so wrong with that? After all, there are plenty of times in life when it’s perfectly acceptable to be a sheep – times when it’s better to just go along with things, without drama; when it’s OK just to follow and do as you’re told, ; when it’s preferable to walk away from a fight; when showing vulnerability and weakness is more powerful than displaying strength.
We’ve all heard of a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing.’ It’s generally associated with liars, fakes and backstabbers. It’s an insult leveled at people who appear to be kind, selfless and good, right after they’ve done something hideously awful.
But actually, for people like me, being a wolf in sheep’s clothing is a pretty awesome way to see yourself.
Rather than fighting it, accept that for the most part, you are a sheep and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Enjoy those daily moments going about your day, chewing the grass in the sunshine. Enjoy the easy life!
Just know that you’re not just any sheep. Underneath that rather woolly and unassuming exterior, are the qualities needed for those hard times: times when you have to bare your teeth, lead a pack, or walk your own lonely path.
The lesson here is that while it’s great to aspire to be better, you cannot make yourself something that you’re not.
A sheep cannot become a wolf.
But it can learn to be one pretty badass sheep.
Agree or disagree? Are you a badass sheep, or a rather wimpy wolf? Thoughts welcome: