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The Burden of the Sheepdog...

“There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.” 
―Edmund Burke

Answering the call of being a sheepdog in this society isn't easy.  It isn't an easy choice, given the amount of ridicule it usually comes with by those that are or live among the sheep.  We are looked at by the sheep as if we are the crazy ones because we have chosen to be the people who do the hard and necessary work of keeping evil from taking over.  Honestly, most of the time, I have neither the time nor inclination to explain myself to likes of people who sleep comfortably under the blanket of safety that sheepdogs like me provide by just going about their daily work.  Not listening to the likes of ass-clowns like Martin Bashir, Chrissy Tingles, Special Ed and Soledad O'Brien makes for a better day.

This calling to be a sheepdog comes with a number of burdens.  The equipment that you sometimes have to carry and use is heavy, hot and cumbersome.  You have to spend hours and days away from your family over a lifetime missing Thanksgivings, Halloweens, Christmas programs and birthdays year after year training or working.  You get to see the sun rise when you are going home and see it set when you are heading to work.

The sheep and the lambs know not the sacrifices of the sheepdog, made to keep them safe.  They happily go about their lives blissfully unaware of the nature of the world and all of the evil that never reaches them.  They don't know about the bad actors, the dark places and the daily stress of being out there ensuring that they never know evil.

But these burdens are not the most heavy of burdens.

There will come a time in your life and career when you might have to decide who lives and dies out there. It's a terrible responsibility, you can't delegate it to anyone else, and it's one you will have to make on your own. The bigger reality is, it is also a decision that you are going to have to live with as a human being, for the rest of your life. There will come a time when you will have to say "no" to that person who needs you because the most important person to keep alive at that time, is going to be yourself. You could be facing a situation where there will be people, some of them your friends, all saying "save me, save me."  They're looking for a miracle and you are going to have to decide if being that miracle is within you, and even worse, the person that may need that miracle might be you.

Some of you will recognize a version of that speech, and I heard it myself a long time ago from a wise old man who had to make a few of those terrible decisions in his life.  

Sheepdogs can't be everywhere at once.  Sometimes the sheep are on their own, and evil people know this. They chose to attack at that moment because they know that there will be no one there to stop them.  If someone has an insatiable darkness in their heart, there is no law given by man or God that will stop them in their quest to act upon their terrible desires.  Out of sheep, sometimes a sheepdog arises.  God Bless Victoria Soto for knowing that one of the miracles that day was her.  God Bless Maryrose Kristopik for doing what she could that day and being that miracle for her music class.  God Bless Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach for running toward the sound of gunfire and being a miracle to their school.  They moved to stop an armed man engaged in the rapid mass murder of little children armed only with their fists.

A Sheepdog's Burden, carried with them everyday, is at the moment that evil appears, that they will not be there in time to stop it.  That evil will be able wreak havoc and by the time the Sheepdog arrives, the damage will be done and the evil men who have done evil deeds will be long gone. It is, without a doubt, the emptiest feeling in the world.  Sheepdogs bear this burden because we know evil, we know that it sometimes pays a visit to the most cherished of places.   

The tools needed to stop evil when used by evil men are not the problem.  We don't need to know why evil is or why evil does or what evil will do.  The problem is evil itself, and the people that embody it and act on it.  It cannot be negotiated away, it cannot be wished away and it does not just go away.

The only way to stop evil, and evil people, is to meet that evil, shake it, stomp it or kill it if it is mortal.