Shahriar Shahriari

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Message of the Month

August, 1998

The Shepherd & The Sheep

The Shepherd figure conjures up a particular image of the caring and loving guide. The one who knows best where to lead the sheep. And as such, this image has been used amply in religious traditions to give the clerics the image of the pious and wise guide, while the masses are the sheep that don’t know any better.

While this in itself can be the subject of a separate discussion, let us focus on the role of the shepherd and the sheep.

The shepherd’s role is to direct the day to day affairs of the sheep. To ensure that the sheep are led to greener pastures and are well fed. To look after the well being and safety of the sheep. And usually with the help of a sheepdog, to protect the sheep from being lost or becoming prey to wolves and other animals.

In short, if it were not for the shepherd, the sheep would be simply lost, scattered, and not as well fed and comfortable as they are otherwise.

On the other hand, the sheep define the role of the shepherd. It is because of the sheep that the shepherd has the opportunity to express his compassion and caring nature. To explore the various lands and pastures and come across a variety of environmental conditions and challenges. To use his creativity and faith in such a manner as to lead the sheep along the right paths. To have the opportunity to silently communicate with the sheep and understand that ever-illusive universal language of nature, the language that is spoken by both the animate and inanimate, as well as to develop his powers and gift of intuition.

In the long term, it is the sheep that enable the shepherd to grow in wisdom and awareness.

It is therefore very important for all pastors and preachers, leaders, managers and teachers to recognize the role of the masses, the staff, the sheep. It is the masses that define their position in society, and in the long term, it is the masses that bring them the gift of wisdom and a happy life.

Nature has a way of creating symbiotic relationships everywhere. In the long term, the giver is always the receiver, and the teacher is always the student. Maintaining a humble attitude is not just a way of being nice, but a way of understanding the constant give and take of all relationships, and a way of recognizing one’s place as both the server and the served.

Nature makes sure that the shepherd is the sheep and the sheep the shepherd. After all, this is part of the economy and efficiency of nature.

All because we live our lives by the spiritual paradigm. All because in any given moment and situation, we do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
August 1998

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