Saturday, February 12, 2005

Use What You Have

It still amazes me how Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge differ from each other in personality, ability, and temperament, even though all three are Labrador retrievers. One of the most striking differences involves their front paw dexterity: Ridge uses his front paws almost like hands--fluidly and with purpose; Baxter uses his almost as well, but not quite; and Elsie, though alert and intelligent, doesn't rely on her front paws nearly at all, certainly not the way Ridge and Baxter do. Each one seems to have his/her own way of approaching and accomplishing tasks.

Sounds almost people-like, doesn't it? We humans differ from one another in our talents, abilities, strengths, and the ways in which we go about approaching problems. We tackle challenges in various ways: some methodically; some with caution or hesitancy; some with bold abandon. Challenges often don't provide clear-cut, right-or-wrong solutions or methods by which we can solve them; it's often up to us to customize solutions based upon our aptitudes and experiences. What works for me may not work for you. And what works for you may not work for me.

Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge remind me that, in the long run, it's okay to differ from one another. You and I don't have to handle the issues we face each day in the same way. Certainly I can learn from you and you from me, but we have grace to be who we are. You may use your front paws like Ridge, and I may not use mine at all, like Elsie; but we'll both figure out ways to hold our bones or retrieve our treats hidden inside our Kongs. We just have to use what we've been given.

And, if we get stuck, maybe we can learn from each other along the way.

'Til next time,

No comments: