Columns 16.4.2014 07:00 am

Flocks flounder while shepherds flourish

Cliff Buchler.

Cliff Buchler.

Elections are being foisted on hapless communities all over the world: a time when you have to listen to lying blabbermouths singing the praises of their party and making outlandish promises they can’t – or won’t – keep once they’re safely ensconced in parliament. And, while catching forty winks, dream up ways of enriching themselves.

We in South Africa face the same shameful system of choosing leaders (sic) to run (down) the country.

A fellow columnist opined we should rid ourselves of a parliament of thieves and incompetents.

But until we find another political system benefiting the nation at large, we’re stuck with lame leaders.

All we can, and must, do is vote for the best of the sorry bunch.

But trouble is, all nations are made up of sheep – and sheep need a shepherd. In South Africa we have an astounding number of sheep. There are something like 24 million registered to vote. That’s a huge number of sheep to lead, to feed – and for whom to find jobs.

Think that’s bad? India is holding elections for 814 million sheep. What chance do they stand being herded by experienced, honest and passionate shepherds?

They’re still lucky, compared to North Korea, where the whole nation is treated like lost sheep and are led by little men with funny hairstyles who look nothing like genuine shepherds. A country where democracy is a swear word that, if uttered, is tantamount to treason.

What then is the true nature of a shepherd? There are many definitions, but these fit the bill: He keeps his flock intact and protects it from predators. Or a person who herds, tends and guards sheep. Or, better still, a person who protects, guides or watches over a person or group of people.

And they have always been depicted as humble folk who consider their flock – human or animal – first and foremost.

OK, at least in Australia sheep are well looked after, but human ones are considered in the same political light as elsewhere.

Interestingly, a once-scattered tribe which became a nation at first called its leader a true shepherd; but alas, he soon became influenced by the fat cats and lost his herder status.

Until the world stops acting like sheep it will have to put up with slippery shepherds. But let’s keep them in check with loud baas.

 

The Citizen Trail Run 2018

today in print