I'd like to take a moment to dissect a phrase that pops up in my facebook/tumblr/pinterest/myface feeds quite a bit that I kind of hate.
That phrase is:
"A tiger (or sometimes a wolf or lion) doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep."
Here are some points, in no particular order, explaining all of the reasons I hate this phrase:
1. First- Tigers (and lions) don't really eat that many sheep. They tend to eat wild animals like deer, and boar. Sometimes they will hunt and kill baby elephants. Once in awhile they will hunt domesticated animals but where they live (Asia) there really aren't that many sheep. So of course they aren't going to lose sleep over the opinions of sheep because for the most part, they probably don't even know what a sheep is. Saying a tiger (or lion) doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep is like saying a whale doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of a unicorn.
2. I mean, do tigers even get insomnia? Are there any tigerologists out there?
3. But really here's my big problem. The central meaning of the phrase is basically that powerful, confident people shouldn't stay awake at night worrying about the opinions of other people. Specifically, they (the human predator) should not let the opinions of people who are beneath them (sheeple (I just barfed in my mouth after typing that)) cause them concern. Basically, the phrase implies, I am a superior human, and I don't care what you peasants think about me.
Isn't that just a LITTLE gross? The idea that ANYONE would think "I am a superior human. The things I do and think place me above other people, and therefore I should not concern myself with those people's opinions." I mean, what gives you the right to think you are "above" anyone else? Because you make more money than other people? Or because you think you work harder than other folks? Or because you think you're more creative than them? And how the hell do you know that you work harder/are smarter/whatever? Did you see a chart somewhere that shows that, empirically, you are better than other humans? Is there a universal ranking of all humans everywhere that tells us where we stand on the food chain of humanity? Can I see it so I can make judgements about the methodology that they used?
Oh, and as a "sub-thing" that I take issue with, maybe you shouldn't lose sleep over the opinions of "sheep" but it's generally a bad idea to banish all knowledge of those opinions from your mind. Knowing what other people (or what sheep) are thinking about gives you knowledge that helps you make better, more informed opinions. Like, maybe as a tiger you should spend some time in sheep chatrooms, or read a sheep magazine (like Sheeple Magazine (...and I barfed again)). Make some spreadsheets and charts that details what kind of thing sheep are thinking. THEN when you've really gotten to know some sheep you can make a better decision about how you approach them.
Look, I get it. The core of the phrase, what it should say, is "It's not healthy to stress out about other people's opinions. Just be yourself." But that wording is kind of boring. Talking about tigers and what they think they might want to eat some day is more dramatic. Saying stuff like that though? Stuff that implies that you're a predator, and I'm your prey, and you don't give a shit about what I think? That doesn't make you seem cool. It just makes you seem like an asshole.