There is a new book out called “Black Sheep” by Brant Menswar, a Canadian rock star-turned- motivational speaker. It’s a quick and easy read that helps lay a path out to finding your “Flock of Five”. The “Flock of Five” are the non-negotiable “Black Sheep” values that each person has. There are many more values that are important to each of us, but Menswar postulates that there are only 5 (maximum) that a person can truly claim as their identifiers. Finding them is the challenge. One doesn’t just proclaim “love, charity, honesty, integrity, hard work” and it’s all done. It comes down to examining what is non-negotiable vs. what is just important.
In the old days, the wool from a black sheep was of almost no commercial value because it cannot be dyed. Menswar would call it “unchangeable…and completely original.”
The only beneficial use for black sheep was before the advent of fences. Black sheep were sprinkled into a large flock of white sheep to make it easier to count the herd. If a shepherd had a flock of 500 sheep, they would introduce 5 black sheep. When the shepherd needed to account for his flock, rather than trying to count 500 sheep, they would look for the 5 black sheep. If they saw only 4, it was safe to assume that a number of other sheep had wandered off too. The search commenced.
Contrary to the traditional/negative connotation of a black sheep, Manswar uses the imagery as a way of identifying our unchanging, undyeable, non-negotiable, completely original core beliefs that help to identify all of the other important things in our lives. Even though there are 495 very important “white sheep” values, they all can be accounted for by knowing the “Flock of Five” black sheep.
I like this imagery for its aid in identifying and organizing my essential values. I also find it important to note-contrary to typical societal renderings-its emphasis on making blackness INVALUABLE.
I challenge you to work toward finding your “Flock of Five” - the Black Sheep values that guide your feet (while you run this race). If you are interested in the book, it would be my pleasure to send you a copy. DISCLAIMER: there is some colorful language in the book.