Lambs and Tigers

Tiger Tiger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
…. Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

-William Blake


Human beings encompass much of nature’s behavior and certain individuals are far more lamb than tiger, and vice versa.  I am of the opinion that the most honorable of men have a command of this entire span of nature, being capable of emulating the lamb, yet instantly capable of going tiger.  Being capable of taking care of an infant, for example, is a sign of a well-tempered man, as such a task typically comes more natural to women, as they prove more long-suffering.  When the same man, capable of taking care of such helpless innocence, as most modern fathers are able to do, can instantly explode into force to protect such innocence, then you are dealing with an individual worthy of the title “man.”

Thus, a defining difference between man and beast: the lamb only knows how to lamb, the tiger only knows how to tiger, but the well-tempered and capable man can do either, on demand.  However, as our society hurtles towards a growing disdain for personal responsibility, so does it strive to shake off all expectation of self-reliance.  Being a tiger makes one self-reliant, thus the movement that seeks to escape personal responsibility also seeks to ostracize those who believe in personal strength and capacity for force.

Perhaps when Blake begged the question, asking if the same God who made the lamb also made the tiger, he may be asking if the God who made you, the kind of person who reads a blog like this, also made those among us who hate any semblance of self-reliance and seek to concede all power to the government.  Lambs demand a shepherd, tigers do not.  And, make no mistake, these modern lambs are not the biblical sheep who turn to the creator as a shepherd.  Far from it.  They demand, with a collectivist bleating, ever-expanding government intervention in individual life.  The lamb, when backed politically by millions like him, proves quite dangerous after all.

The excellent Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson has said to the effect that this particular movement equates being harmless with virtue, but he corrects this flawed logic by explaining that being harmless hardly makes one virtuous.  Do we assume a rabbit is virtuous because it is harmless?  Peterson proposes that if you are a monster, but do not act like a monster, you are virtuous.  Well said.  If you are helpless, you may be harmless, but you are hardly virtuous for being so.  I would argue that those who seek to rid themselves of self-reliance are anything but harmless, as they vote.

Being capable of both lamb and tiger makes you an asset to society, it makes you virtuous, and it ensures you work towards maintaining liberty.  Shall we all strive to harness our tiger, cultivate it’s capability, and unleash it only if justified and needed.

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