The Difference Between Sheep and Lions | Teen Ink

The Difference Between Sheep and Lions

April 25, 2010
By Zach Whiteley GOLD, Jacksonville, Florida
Zach Whiteley GOLD, Jacksonville, Florida
15 articles 0 photos 1 comment

The world in whole, lives in a balance of good and evil, not in a struggle between them. Angels, and demons, gods, and devils, they belly into made up apparitions in which faith rests into our hands. We alone choose to believe that all things fall into one of these two categories, and then we promote it. It is written in books, in movies, where a protagonist makes battle with an antagonist leading up to a final climax in which the light, the good in all prevails. We create these “ghost” stories to mediate morals above the ones on a natural plane, in which all consciences resides and presumes to dwell. From the days of old, nothing and no one has hid in the dark, between the crevices of these two stagnant immovable mountains. Nothing or no one person recorded at least. Thousands of years from the moment I penned this, people will look back at us as the ancients and think of us as either the noble sanctimonious children of god, or the evil wrong-doers lost beyond themselves, starving to fill their need for violence and promiscuousness.

Reality alludes us however. It alludes the ancients and it alludes myself, and it alludes the future populace. We struggle to come to terms with the natural state of the world while imploring human ideals into it, and this can’t be done without one overcoming and overpowering the other. Naturally speaking, there is no good or evil. There is no right or wrong, and there is no heaven or hell. The human race is doomed to live in a beautiful purgatory that we refuse to accept as home. We dance, and we sing, we make love, and find love, and love one another, and when we die, many of us die unhappy. Acceptance of the world is a necessary attribute. Relying on the ideals of an after-life simply causes the confusion and rebuttal of human existence. And that existence is a savage and instinctual beauty. We are mammals, no different than the dolphins, the elephants, or the lions. We are gifted mammals, gifted with great intuition, scientific enthusiasm, and creative unruliness which allow us to innovate past what other animals could possibly dream of becoming. But forgetting we are nothing more than the animal ourselves, in which we reside in a beautiful colorful chromatic world, that is a dangerous thing. To elevate oneself above all other things is considered a selfish act, even in our extremely selfish society.

We know animals are not capable of setting boundaries between the nobleness of good, and torturous remorse of evil ways. They only live, and live shortly. And when they die, they die happily, because ignorance of human ideas can’t captivate them and they pass into the veil of death as sheep rather than lions. The natural order of the world, the spirit of the earth itself is not acceptable to humans, because there is always something greater than what we can see. We cannot accept the truth as the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so we must create, and in our self-perpetuating lust for nobility, we destroy the intentions god, if there is indeed a god, had for us to begin with. That is to be happy, in whatever manner happiness takes us.

It will be a cold day in hell, the day I meet a purely evil man. A man colder than the melting icebergs himself, is a man nonexistent. He is but, one of the aforementioned man-made apparitions we have seemingly etched into marble stone. It would do us good to remember that every murderer had a mother who loved him, had a mother who birthed him from the womb, weaned him, and raised him. And It would serve us well to know that every murderer had a mother whom he devoutly loved dearly, and this is an inescapable truth. A man without a mother exists only in Greek mythology, and since Zeus nor the demi-gods which he fathered exist hitherto, it’s safe to assume a motherless man is as inexistent as the evil man himself.

Perhaps now, you find yourself considering the many examples of men that history relates to us as the demons, and the devils of popular enterprise and culture. What we fail to recognize is history can only be trusted as much as the man who wrote it, and trusting in man is a crime unto itself, for even the best of men contain the most striking and elegant poses of darkness. We look at the greatest war mongrels. Genghis Khan, Hitler, Stalin, they all were men who were written down as having committed the most horrid treacheries. And yet, they loved just as I loved, and you loved. I have committed no murder as they have, but in their eyes they were committing goodness, freeing the world from the terror they saw, and for that I neither have sympathy nor anguish against them. I do not pity them. I am apathetic to their causes, perhaps because they were simply doing what they saw as natural, and even if I don’t agree with them, to tell them that they’re beliefs are wrong, to tell them that what they are doing is evil and dark, would be to upset the natural brutal order in which a whimsical god has provided before me at my feet.

I have come to terms that I cannot strive for sainthood because it is an unreachable goal, nor can I fall into the depths of serving a servant to the devil. I am destined, as all animals are, to live between the great thundering mountains of good and evil, of dark and light. I realize I can do none but enjoy what I have, and live life in its individual splendor. I am not a man who strives to climb either mountains, I am content to live in the valley beneath and between, where lush vegetation grows, and the soil is rich and fertile, and a great river roars through, and thousands of brooks and gullies steer away from the mouth, and meander through the rolling hills full of idleness.

I refuse to spend my life like so many, trying to climb a thunderous mountain, in which only at the top, there is but cold wind and anguish, desolation and isolation. I refuse to die trying for something that can’t be reached for I know it can’t be reached because it is a thing of fairy-tales and imagining lands. It is not for the perfect natural state of things where we preside, and live as the animals we must accept that we are. It is for the dreamers, and the surrealist, the devotees and the righteous-hungry. And I refuse to starve, for I am an animal capable of half-truths, and white lies, but never an extreme of either, or otherwise. I am a person, who wallows where he is happy, who accepts happiness as idleness, who is aware of the lack of control we as humans truly have and has realized that good and evil could never exist where they dwell so closely together in timid fervor. They can only collide and melt and deliver to us in primary, and secondary colors, and all the colors imaginable, but never white or black, light or dark. This is only the stagnant beauty we must accept.
And oh, once you can see it, how beautiful it is.

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