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Old 02-04-2017, 11:02 PM
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ebacon ebacon is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,208
Tonight I am noodling on another slippery slope: shepherds. Instead of starting a new thread I am drawn to Sagan's gravity of thought. He hit on an event horizon.

Who is your local shepherd?

That question popped into my mind while talking with friends. We were discussing the value of hard work and it seemed that we agreed that hard work is good. At that moment I recalled a conversation with my uncle in Germany. He told me that his local shepherd is retiring and his son did not want the job. To me that was a normal conversation. Sheep maintain the grass in large areas around the village. They bleat and wear bell collars and are cute to look at. The shepherd is a nomadic character that lives in a trailer. I never knew him as well as my uncle does, but the notion of sheep around town along with their bells and their shephard are normal to me. I understood the value of the job and why his son did not want it. The mental equation was balanced.

Now, living in the U.S. , I could not even recall the word shepherd. I had to Google it. I struggled and used the phrase "sheep herder". How does an adult lose grasp of the concept of a shepherd? Then it hit me. Jesus was a shepherd. While living in the U.S. I lost my memory of animals and simple work. The word shepherd means nothing to me here so I forgot it.

The value of shepherding is deep enough to warrant an article in itself. Imagine the difference in noise levels between sheep and lawn mowers. Imagine the difference in lawn treatments between sheep grazing and chemical alternatives. Imagine the difference of smells between sheep and engines. Those are just the benefits that reach the senses. Shepherds bring benefits to society at large as well. Adam Smith describes the benefits of shepherds mental and physical faculties in his book "Wealth of Nations". That section deserves at least as much thought as the value of the invisible hand.
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