Saturday, September 15, 2007

Life Lessons from Puppies: Part One

Okay, so in an earlier post, I listed ten life lessons from Elsie as she adjusts to being a dam.

Now I'll list the lessons I'm learning from her pups along the way (currently they're 20 days old). :o)

Here goes (the italicized teal-colored font describe the pups' activities that prompted my observations):

1. We're all unique and individual (and have been from the moment we entered this world). Even if we look similar, come from the same gene pool, live in the same houses or towns or states or countries or continents, share the same beliefs, and hold the same values, we still differ from one another. And that's a good thing -- the world is a far richer place because of our varying shades and nuances. (how different the puppies have been since their moments of birth)

Oh, and for context, I'm an identical twin (yes, same genes),
yet my sister and I differ from each other in remarkable ways.

2. AND, at our cores, we're all the same. Though we've been blessed with different abilities, likes, dislikes, interests, mores, cultures, nationalities, skin colors, religions, socio-economic statuses, living situations, relationships, life seasons, biases, world views, etc., we have the same basic wants and needs: to be safe, to be loved, to give love, to have value and worth, to be treated with dignity and respect, to have our basic needs met (clean water, enough food, adequate shelter, etc.), to enjoy healthy relationships, to feel our lives count for something, etc. (how the pups, despite their different temperaments, still want and need the same things)

Another point of context: this truth was never more
clear to me than when I had the chances to teach in
Kenya and Zambia and to connect with women there.
Our cultures and life circumstances couldn't have been
more different, yet I found kindred sisters.
Inside, we were so much the s

3. Sleep and rest are important to health and well-being. (just guess where this comes from!) :o)

4. To grow you have to take risks. Just think of what these pups have gone through in just 20 days! They left the secure warm darkness of their mother's womb and emerged into the cold, insecure world. They learned to nurse, to pee, and to poo. They discovered their hind legs and started using them. They started walking and vocalizing and wagging their tails. They opened their eyes and began to see (no matter how blurred their vision still is) -- they encountered light! They started to distinguish between light and darkness. They learned their mother's scent and the scent of those wacky two-legged things called humans. They broadened their world by looking over the whelping box rim. Then they even risked climbing (rolling, tumbling) out of the whelping box to explore the world beyond their walls.

5. Walls can provide safety, but they can confine, too. Walls don't have to be physical, like whelping box walls. They can come in the form of emotions, prejudice, ignorance, bias, insecurity, inexperience, complacency, inertia, fear, and the like. Just think of how much we rob ourselves (and the world) of when we build or keep up walls! How sad! Then think of how enriched our worlds would be if we'd learn to look beyond the walls and maybe even risk climbing over the walls or breaking them down! What a wonderful world it would be.

The next five Life Lessons from Puppies are simply statements (no explanation necessary):

6. True growth is a process, not an event. And we all grow at our own paces.

7. We don't have to have much to be happy.

8. New relationships can be scary at first, but you have to give them a chance (this includes new canines and humans). :o)

9. Not everything that peaks our interest is good for us.

10. We can't know what we're capable of unless we try.

It's amazing what we can learn if we just open our eyes.

Here's to staying alert to lessons we can learn in the mundane and ordinary!

There's more to come. :o)

'Til next time,

1 comment:

JuliaR said...

Joan, here is my life lesson, and last post about Rockwell: