I read a Facebook post this morning, that read something like, when your beliefs are challenged, you can turn away or stand up, we must stand up and persevere and be as shepherds to protect the flock. I wanted to jump all over this one but decided to use it as a learning moment for myself. I was surprised at the information I discovered.
I started with learning the meanings of the words shepherd, sheep, flock which lead me to some images of the character Jesus carrying a sheep. This particular image led me to an article entitled Soul Food, Keeping My Eyes On Jesus.
It contained pretty much what I expected, but it wasn't until I neared the end of the article that I located some information that I was unaware of. The article pointed out the back story of shepherds carrying a lamb or sheep. If a shepherd had a rebellious lamb or sheep that would not follow a shepherd, the shepherd would break the animal's legs and carry it around their neck until the animals legs would heal. By the time the animal's legs would heal the animal would have become used to being next to and close to the shepherd and would never wander off again.
People think of the shepherd protecting the flock, but the only reason the flock is protected by the shepherd is because the shepherd is either going to use the flock as a method to survive or produce an income through trade, fleecing, selling, eating or breeding. The shepherd is identified as the protector but in actuality the shepherd only protects the flock to protect personal interest. The image of the sheep being carried creates thoughts of love and care, however the shepherd is the one who breaks the legs of the animal in an effort to force the animal to abandon it's natural state to become obedient and dependent. There is a saying to beware of the wolves who appear as sheep, but I've never heard anyone advising sheep to protect themselves from the care of the shepherd. It wasn't until Dr. B pointed out to that when an individual self identifies as a sheep in the flock that they created a problem for themselves.
USAGE: WESTERN AFRICAN, YORUBA.