The Beauty Of The Black Sheep
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
For hundreds of years, the black sheep was seen as worthless within farming communities. Although rare, her wool won't take to dye like that of her typical white companions. She's often been sold off for meat or slaughtered because of her inability to provide pure white wool. In some parts of the world, her dark coat is believed to be a mark of Satan. She has always been considered unwanted, unappealing, and unattractive- until a few years ago when the demand for black wool increased because of the New York fashion industry's sudden interest in the anomalous fabric.
But the black sheep was never evil, nor was she worthless. The fashion industry did not provide the sheep her worth. They merely recognized it. The creative minds, the freedom thinkers, the ones who understood the importance of going against the norm to cultivate something more beautiful and unique than the rest- they found purpose in what most considered waste.
Some lost sheep are still waiting for their own worth to be recognized.
Many families will attempt to create a sort of group identity, a collective of congruent thoughts, beliefs, and personal standards. By doing so, they can confidently present to the world an image of harmony and likability. They don't feel challenged or pressured to think beyond their most basic understandings because almost everything they believe and say is agreeable to some degree. It is comfortable to keep each member on the same page.
But the world is so much more complex than this. It is not comfortable, and agreeable isn't exemplary. There is always one member of the flock who understands this.
This sheep knows that there is more outside of her community bubble. She is hungry for greener pastures. She is discouraged from asking questions, but her curious mind cannot quit. Her voraciousness is too big for her body. She wants more than what she's been granted. She doesn't fit the mold she was given, and she knows it. However, freedom of self is a road less traveled. Conformity is much too easy. But when you're a single black sheep amongst a hundred white carbon copies, conformity is also futile.
The flock knows that its harmonic facade produces a positive social identity. This allows the group to glide effortlessly through life without challenge or error. Any sign of an individual's deviation from the norm could close the curtain on their act. This is why they are so quick to outcast the one who threatens their spotless semblance. They either discard or shame the sheep for her atypical deviation. She is told to hide her coat or leave the fold. She chooses to go.
The beauty of the black sheep is that she will find brilliance undiscovered by those she left behind when she leaves. She is free to explore, to learn, to grow, to express. Free to discover the most peculiar and awe-inspiring slices of life and consume them without fear or hesitation. She no longer lives under the covering of a lie. She lives without expectations to fulfill. She grows without the trappings of a mold. She creates space while the others rob one another of room to see beyond their modest meadow. She takes back her autonomy. She revels in the knowledge that her existence will not boil down to her ability to absorb whatever colors the world wants her to be. She will not be stained to gain their approval.
The journey is arduous. The loss is immeasurable. The black sheep will walk away from everything she has ever known for a more authentic existence. But once she makes it through to the other side of the fence, every painful moment of her departure becomes worth her newfound freedom.
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