Thursday, September 18, 2003

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep."
--John 10:11-13, New International Version

Consider the above when you call 911 instead of defending your own life, or that of your family. Consider it when you see an announcement that U.S. troops are being shipped to yet another foreign country to defend people who have nothing in common, socially, with them. Consider it when you entrust your children's minds to others for training.

This is not to say, or even imply, that there is no care or concern in the hearts of strangers; though the language of the Bible is qualitative, experience shows that there is some compassion in most human hearts toward those we don't know, or who seem unlike us, and we do not normally bear them ill will. Policemen, soldiers, teachers, and others hired to do a job should not take offense at this; their devotion to their duties is admirable and I don't question it (in most cases; there are exceptions, of course). However, they can't replace the bonds of family and friends, and we invite them to do so only at the peril of society itself, because a mystery of society is that it is a byproduct; it cannot be built directly.

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