Do you see me? I see you. Walking, early on a weekday. This is your time to exercise. It’s my time too. It would be impossible not to see me directly across the street from you, bright pink visor on my head, walking my dog. I dart my eyes your way, ready to receive or instigate a greeting should you look my way. But you don’t. No wave. No smile. No hello. No good morning, even though you know my name and I know yours. Yet you can’t even be bothered to acknowledge my existence. This makes me feel small.
I wrote recently about how important it is for me to raise my children to not be judgmental of other people or their life choices. Today I’m discussing another facet of compassion that grabs my heart and squeezes .
I was walking my dog, Milo, in a field near our house, when another dog came out of the trees and trotted over to us. I was nervous at first because I didn’t know if this dog was aggressive, but it turns out he just wanted to say hi to Milo. This dog was skinny, and had a few cysts under his skin like old dogs get, but otherwise appeared healthy. No collar, although the hair around his neck was indented like he’d had a collar recently. He trotted behind us nearly all the way back to my house, but then meandered between two houses and disappeared. When he didn’t respond to my calls, I got the impression he was deaf. I ran in my house to get food and water and came back out, calling, “Puppy! Puppy!”
One week ago, I was driving my eldest to gymnastics when my youngest (7yo) made a bold declaration from the back seat: “I’m not going to play with Shane anymore cuz he told me he doesn’t believe in God.”
*insert noise of car screeching to a halt*
Life lesson time, youngsters.