Given the current political climate in the United States, and the incendiary verbiage employed to incite the masses and win the electoral college by our new President, I have been giving a lot of thought to my belief system and how I relate to other humans. What stuns me the most in the whole thing is how any two given people can look at the same picture and see something totally different. I try to be open-minded when Kellyanne or Donald or Mike speak … but my truth and theirs share no common ground.
From my nearly 60 year old vantage point, as a small business owner and a single woman who had a headache most of her life from hitting the glass ceiling … it is mighty scary. It wasn’t until I ditched the education and the “professional” job to clean houses and scrub toilets that I actually started to make financial strides. That now appears to be threatened by hollow promises and potentially irresponsible votes just to prove that “they” can.
Be all that as it may, what I am working around to is the role of companion animals in helping us maintain balance in this turbulent time. In giving my human relationships some amount of consideration, I realize that it is primarily my connection to my dogs that has taught me the most about being human.
When a dog (or any other critter you connect to) comes in to your life, suddenly there is something more important then “me”. Suddenly, just by caring for a creature, your heart creaks open a little and you have a reason to do things. Many a day I would not have gotten out of bed except that the dog needed to go out. Many a night I would have stayed at the bar (and was likely on the road to alcoholism), but I needed to get home to walk the dog. A little miniature poodle saved me in those early, lonely days just out of college.
Along your life journey, a dog will get you out to play ball when you would rather be a couch potatoe. They often help you meet new friends along the way. They make you laugh, they make you cry, they make you worry, they comfort you. They are unconditional … and above all, I find them predictable in personality and totally forgiving of my human err.
Prior to the election, I actually looked up both major candidates to see if they had dogs. I am an independent voter, but I am very much a middle to left thinker. It only took a minute to see Hillary and a group of chubby fluff-balls on my screen. Not surprisingly, if Trump has a pet of any sort, it is sharing a closet with his tax returns. That told me all I needed to know.
Pet people have heart. They have learned love and often grief from the connection to a companion animal. They have found a way to communicate with a living being that doesn’t share the same language … and if they are paying attention, they are learning life lessons throughout their relationship. I believe those lessons make us better humans, and I believe that is one amazing gift. Thanks guys!
Excellent commentary Nancy. I agree with you 100%. We are already seeing the effects of having people in control of our nation who are not interested in animal welfare. So many disturbing things are being done. Dark days ahead. I will continue to fight for the animals and am always guided by the Albert Einstein quote: “It’s man’s sympathy, with all Gods creatures, that makes him truly a man.” and Immanuel Kant: “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
Thanks for your comments, Alice. I love both of those quotes and will be using them in the future. It is a scary time for all of us. I find myself hugging my dogs more often, and looking to them for wisdom and balance. Thankfully, they are steadfast and rock solid in these crazy times.