There was a time in my life where I had no idea who I was. When I was a child, I believed what my parents believed without challenge. When I was in school, I believed what my teachers told me to be true. As a friend, I've allowed people to speak their perceptions into my life about other people as fact. I've been the sheep before.
Even though I am older, I still find myself there from time to time. Sometimes I have to take a step back and check my heart. I have to ask what it truly stands for and if it is on the proper course to always seek the truth. Have I righted my wrongs? Have I learned from my mistakes? Have I accepted responsibility for where I could have been better? The answer isn't always comfortable because the answer isn't always yes.
I don't want to be the sheep even though, from time to time, I find myself being herded in a direction I should challenge. Right now, the world is telling me that the truth is flexible and that if can be manipulated to fit the comfort of everyone. Even that isn't true in itself because the truth is concrete; its absolute. The truth has never been the sheep.
We live in a world where bad behavior is justified at every turn and double standards are often applied to ourselves. We expect perfection from others when we seldom look at the root of our own hearts. It's easier to look at how others might have wavered or faltered because it's not uncomfortable to throw stones at others. It is, however, uncomfortable to throw stones at ourselves because we know the aftermath is painful.
I don't want to be flexible with the truth, but to be self-aware. I want to live my life as an open book by design. I want to have very few secrets and if people can learn from my own journey, I want to have a willingness to share it. If I can learn from my own journey by openly talking it out, I desire to do so without hesitation. It's challenging but in the end, however, it will tell what kind of man or women we are. If you don't walk away even a fraction better than where you were previously, you're not doing it right.
I've been the sheep. I've been weak minded, I've been wrong, and I've been persuaded to be less than my best before. The common denominator there is one specific person. That common denominator is myself. I've allowed that into my life but I can also let it go.
Today, I choose not to be the sheep. Today, I choose to actively be better than I have been previously. Today, I will lead and I will not be lead. When I lay down tonight and I ask myself who I was today, I can confidently say, I was not the sheep.