Having a puppy following me around the house paying super close attention to every move I make got me thinking… what do dogs think about their humans? Do they think changing clothes is just taking off one set of fur and exchanging it for another set of fur? Or do they wonder why we don’t have fur at all? Do they find it unjust that we get to pee in the house but they have to go outside? Do they wonder why we holler at them for pooping in the house and then collect a week’s worth of their turds in a bag? Just random thoughts that occur in the wee hours while shivering on the porch waiting for the puppy to do her business in the yard. Wouldn’t it be interesting (or perhaps terrifying) to know what they really think of us?
While cleaning out my desk, I stumbled across a quote by 18th century German author and poet Johanne Wolfgang von Goethe. I printed it out years ago and saved it, and finding it again was like reading it for the first time all over again. Goethe’s words of wisdom, written in the 1700s, are as applicable today as they must have been then. I’m sharing them here, since there’s no way I could say it better.
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
By Niki Turner | firstname.lastname@example.org