Me vs. Them
It is one of the most beautiful, sunny, Monday mornings I can recall of this winter and I am braced for the cold touch after a starry night’s warning. I am in a hurry because I am going to a movie with a new friend; I must finish my walk, shower, and a Doctor’s appointment before that promised prize is mine.
I am armed with a pocket full of gloves and a garbage bag, a lift in my right shoe, and determination to get it all done.
The garbage bag is full of litter and deposited ½ way around the first loop of the Lake. I have scooped 4 dog poohs and put them in the “pooh- station” barrel too. I knew it would be heavy duty as I was walking after the dreaded Sunday walk. (See post Pooh Patrol).
The self-righteous feelings of me vs. them are in full glory with flag raised and daring someone to defy the law in front of me. I am ready and have a full head of steam.
I am so engaged that I am not seeing the splendor of Mt. Rainer in the sunrise – I even startle as I startle the ducks with my harsh movements and actions of my duty. I am wondering if a newspaper article would be enough, or a petition, and a lecture? Public Humiliation? Or how about some one really patrolling and handing out some of those $250.00 fines and tickets?
Yes, that would build the anger and get some more action and create awareness. So do I have the energy to organize such a campaign or a vigilante group to protest – dog pooh, litter and lack of responsibility?
This is not the message I wish to be known for or the actions I wish to spend time doing or promoting.
Gandhi or Martin Luther King of the dog pooh responsibility movement, it just does not have the correct ring to it for the likes of me. I need loftier glory!
Why I have spent years of my life sitting in people’s kitchens and on front porches listening to their anger, frustration, disgust, and fear about raising their children, getting enough drugs to keep them going, keeping appointments, parenting and learning to care for themselves – responsibility is a word I know well.
How many years did I teach ethics and problem–solving, life skills and listening and conflict resolution to the bright students in our college systems?
As long as I am thinking ME vs. Them I am starting a dog pooh war. I am loudly stating my values and my wants are more important than yours. I am not able to teach anything except anger and self-righteousness, because that is what I am modeling.
My heart and mind begin to soften and I can see that I value PEACE more than War.
Do I wish to teach anger and vengeance or do I wish to teach beauty and responsibility?
I wish to teach kindness, beauty, compassion and love, for all God’s creatures.
These lessons take diligence and perseverance to teach. They do not grow on hope alone and having your “mother” do it for you.
I see the problem; I can tackle this as a matter of warfare or with nonviolent compassion.
I will pick up the pooh and offer a smile of blessing to each person I encounter – and dog – on my path. This will be my new practice. All God’s creatures need a blessing and a smile…I will not pass on anger as my legacy.
This will be my practice and my service to my community and my country. My responsibility.
I see my neighbor and his dog and I think they are enjoying the stunning snow covered Olympics. He is staring at the, I agree, very ugly, empty building blocking the view. He thinks he will write a letter to the editor and have his say about taking the building down and restoring the view.
I think someone is looking at a new practice? Discovering his service to his community and I wonder what he will decide and what his outcome will be?
How do you figure out what to practice when you feel like going to war?
What service do you practice in your community?
What is the dog pooh problem in your community?