Joshua Paul SchmidtLecturer
Phone: (213) 740-2488
Office: PED 108
Description of Research
Summary Statement of Research Interests
Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell; and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
Then there are the wolves and they feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
Then there are sheepdogs. We live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. We intimidate those who intimidate others.
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath--a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
"Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself.
The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?"
- William J. Bennett
In a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997
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