As Walt Whitman said, “I contain multitudes.” I interepret this to mean that we are all many different people simultaneously. A parent. A child. A student. A teacher. A leader. A follower. We are just one or the other. We are ALL. If we can learn to think like this, then we can learn to cohabitate despite our differences.
Americans especially are taught to view the world through binaries. Black and White. Democrat and Republican. Leaders and Followers. Coke and Pepsi. Android and IOS. Free and Enslaved. Male and Female. Gay and Straight. The rest of the world does a better job of seeing the middle as shades of grey.
We should try to see civilization through the lens of Chess in some ways. There are two sides. Black and White. There are equal amounts of pawns and rooks, bishops and nights and they all are protecting the King and Queen.
The irony of this game is that the Queen has the most power and the King, the least with the exception of the pawns unless they cross the board. Then they too become Queens. And this game has been played for over a 1000 years in its modern form.
It is a good representation of how the world works. There are two opposing nations that start equally and only after the first move does one gain more power. From there it is a war in which there are two outcomes: a draw or a win.
It’s not checkers and neither is life. It is not a binary game. It is a game of strategy in which the weakest piece can move up the social ladder to the highest with only the sentries being immobile in class.
In some ways, that is the real world. We are all given equal opportunity as far as life goes. As mammals. But from the first breath, it is up to our handlers or leaders whether or not we have the knowledge to succeed and win at the game of life.
But today, it seems like we think that we are all either followers or leaders and that is not the case. We are duplicitous and more. We are not just pawns or rooks or bishops or knights. We are all four all the time.
Think of us like this. We separated into four groups: the sheep, the herders, the wolves and the rabid wolves. At any given moment, as long as we are not rabid, our position changes to the situation. As a parent, we are the herders. As an employee, we are the sheep. As athletes, we are wolves. We are all, simultaneously.
There is no one or the other. There is only the middle. The problem is that the middle is defined as the space between Republican and Democrat or Liberal and Conservative. Erase that idea from your mind. It takes some Ajax. It is a rough scrub but worth the effort in spades in the ability to think better.
Those who stand on their altars or pillars or soap boxes with immobility in thinking are sick. Thinking is fluid. It is not rigid. Rigid thinking gets us nowhere and that is what is being sold with binaries. One or the other and this type of thinking eventually has to eat itself because there is no prey left. These are the Rabid Wolves. They are sick. They have built their foundation on being right not heard.
The regular wolves are the Alphas and the sentries. They play an important role especially in a Republic or Democracy. They are those that are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. Some wield guns. Some wield microphones. Some wield fists. They are the competitors that in time of peace, prosper as athletes and intellectuals and artists and in times of war, are the sentries wielding guns to protect the nation or their minds to protect humanity from being rabid.
Think about that last sentence for a minute. That is the 60s. That in Occupy Wall Street. Today, that is BLM. Those who are fighting against the rabid wolves. Those who cannot easily cross back over to a sheep or a herder once the fighting has stopped. Once success or the war has been won.
Two men in modern day have healed from a case of Rabid Wolf syndrome: Mike Tyson and Eminem. Both men struggled for survival. They went into beast mode to change their lives and succeeded beyond measure.
Both, also, went rabid for a time with drugs, alcohol and sex. They speak clearly about it. Both have seeked help and are now two of the most interesting herders around. They healed their rigid thinking to become fluid.
That tells me that there is hope if the message gets out that there is hope.
Most people just want a modest life that gives them the freedom to take care of their homes and kids and work towards a toy like a fishing house or sailboat. There is nothing wrong with this. I am one of them most of the day. I am a proud sheep. I am a no name worker in society making his way.
When I was in the classroom, I was a herder. A teacher or a true leader ultimately and was known for being strict, fair and funny. We need all three in our leadership, not just fun or funny. That’s the role of a herder. To have rules and enforce them among the sheeple not because they get out of control but because they want to protect the sheep from being eaten by the wolves.
And that’s what wolves do. Eat the sheep until there are no sheep left or are fought off by the herder. A teacher or parent who puts him or herself in harm’s way to protect a child. I have had to do this a few times. It is not fun.
Wolves will always be there. They are part of the balance as long as they are not rabid. Healthy wolves take what they need. That’s nature, human or beast. It’s life at its most primal. Survival first.
Rabid wolves kill the herd and the herder which illustrates their sickness. They kill their food source and their food which eventually kills them off while killing all. That’s where it looks like we are headed.
Rigid thinking causes rabid wolves. Seeing the world in binaries instead of ebb and flow or in shades of grey. The fix is hard though if you can see it. It is to eradicate and remove rabid wolves from society by the means that they use, not the means we want.
Up against a rabid animal, wolf or rabbit, in the wild, we are only given one choice to end the conflict. Kill or be killed or hopefully trap and imprison and heal. Mike Tyson teaches us that a rabid wolf can be healed.
Either way, we need to act or we will all perish including the rabid wolves because they think they do no harm. That is their hubris and ours is two: disunity and inaction.