Two months ago I walked into one of my classes at the University of Florida to see a quote written on the chalkboard. The snowy white sentence read,
“Life is composed of/populated by: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs.” Underneath this quote was a question, ‘Which are you?’
My Professor then asked us to raise our hand to what we thought we were.
He said, “sheep?”
Nobody raised their hand.
Nobody raised their hand.
Everyone raised their hand, including myself.
My professor proceeded to call me out, “Miss. Hornyak, I am surprised by your choice. Why did you choose the sheepdog?”
In reply I stated, “Well, it is the best choice out of the three options listed.”
Shaking his head, my professor then surveyed my fellow classmates, “Class, who is in charge of the sheepdog?”
The reply that came was, “The master.”
My professor took this opportunity to teach us what he thought to be an invaluable lesson for pursuing a career in the law. He said, “Even the sheepdog is subservient to its master. You all would be wise to take the wolf’s approach, who answers to no one but himself.”
Taking extreme issue with this remark, after class I approached my professor to show him a counter quote to the assertion he made and I stated, “Professor, you are not teaching sheep, wolves, or even sheepdogs. You are teaching us how to be lions.”
The quote my Professor wrote on the board is a common metaphor taken originally from the Bible and used often by our Founding Fathers. The sheep symbolize those who blindly follow our government by remaining politically uninformed. Wolves refer to those that use their political powers to make their own selfish gains by feeding off the dumbness of the sheep. The sheepdog’s role is to protect the uniformed voters from the wolves who represent corruption. But at the end of the day, even the sheepdog lays at the feet of it’s master, aka the government.
The story above is one of the main reasons I accepted a job to work with Turning Point USA. I agreed wholeheartedly with their mission to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.
Turning Point USA is constantly challenging students across the country to not be wolves, sheep, or even sheepdogs. At the University of Florida, my personal goal is to make sure every person I come into contact with is inspired to be something greater – to be a lion – in today’s world where many blindly follow the flock.
This message aligns with Turning Point USA’s most utilized slogan, big government sucks, by implying that you cannot allow your motivations to be corrupted by acting as a wolf and you definitely cannot let your master become the government.
Taking into account that this is Turning Point USA’s first official semester at the University of Florida, we have already had enormous success in reaching out to future ‘lions’. The second week of school I got to speak about TPUSA for the first time in front of nearly seventy students at the College Republicans meeting, as well as at their Executive Board meeting that night.
In addition, we co-hosted a GOP Debate watch party at our most iconic restaurant in Gainesville, The Swamp, with Fox News. This event was an incredible success with over one hundred and twenty students in attendance, all of whom were exposed to Turning Point USA and our ideals as an organization.
I am on campus two days every week spreading the values of capitalism, why we can be proud to be American, and the importance of having school choice (to name a few of the issues we have recently promoted). Of course, there have been disappointing moments when I come to the realization that, just as my Professor told us in class, many students at UF are perfectly content being sheep. But then as soon as I meet an excited, passionate student who believes in limited government and wants to help us achieve our goals, it all becomes worth it.
So I will continue to promote being greater than the wolves whose main tactic is deceit. I will aim to inspire my fellow students to be smart and not blindly follow the crowd because it is the easy path. And finally, Turning Point USA will change the tide through leading by example and keeping its motives pure.
The most important lessons I have learned during these first few weeks of working for TPUSA is to continue being a lion in a world full of sheep and that it is possible to change the world, even if it is one person at a time.