Just yesterday, on the MLK Jr.-federal holiday, my wife and I went to see the movie, American Sniper. This movie is not for the faint of heart. But I encourage you to see it. Witness for yourself the story of a true American hero, Chris Kyle. Form your own opinions and, please, share these with your family and friends.
For me, the most telling aspects of this film are the following lessons:
a) Early in the movie we overhear a father teaching his children by way of a parable:
“There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs … Now, some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world — those are the sheep. And then you got predators who use violence to prey on the weak. They’re the wolves. And then there are those who have been blessed with the gift of aggression, and the overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed that live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog.”
Chris Kyle was a sheepdog. And I’m betting that he’s still on watch as a member of St. Micheal‘s legion of angels ready to do battle against evil if called on again.
b) At the theater where I saw this movie, you could have heard a pin drop as the final credits of American Sniper rolled on screen. This AMC movie house was sold out and unlike when I’ve watched other war movies or action flicks at this same theater, no one let out an inappropriate hoop, holler, or even muttered one sarcastic word. Which leads me to my final point.
c) Now as for the comments by comedians Bill Maher and Seth Rogen or the acclaimed film-maker Michael Moore … Well, I don’t think that they are evil wolves. Rather, they are sheep. They live in and profit from a relatively safe environment made possible by men and women like Chris Kyle. And to put a finer point on this stick … It’s my opinion after watching the news and reading a few so-called news stories trending today, there’s not a ram in the bunch.
So the next time you run into a veteran. Do more than just thank him or her for their service. Smile. Shake their hand. And if you are in a hiring position — for this is Linked In, the social media network aimed at business — grant them an interview and give our veterans a little credit for standing up, stepping forward, and filling the role of sheepdog.