Monday, September 20, 2010

Each One Teach One

each one

Today this blog accomplishes something. Something insignificant to most but of life-changing importance to a few.

The phrase "Each One Teach One" originated during the era of slavery in the American South. In order to better control their slaves, plantation owners denied them access to education and even the right to read because ignorance reduced the captive's options, making them feel even more unworthy of a life beyond subservience.

But those who did learn to read or mastered a skill realized the strength and broader horizons that came with that knowledge and knew that they had to pass it on. Each one taught one. And little by little the chains binding them all were broken.

Enough of the best lessons I've learned in life have come from dogs for me to recommend dog ownership as a solution to a lot of the ills modern life visits upon the rest of us.

A dog doesn't allow you to live in the past or the future. It's only aware of the present and keeps tugging you back to live in the moment.  It forces you to pull your head out of your ass on a daily basis to think of somebody else's needs. It shows you the restoration that can be found merely by going outside.

Dogs teach you to notice the world around you in a way you don't do on your own. They uplift you with a cold nose that says "I'm here" and humble you when you bend to scoop what they've left behind.

They are a constant reminder that despite all the special things you can accomplish, including working a can opener and turning a door handle, there is more to the world than you'll ever understand.

And if everybody you meet in that world dumps on, diminishes or marginalizes you -- a dog lets you know you still have value.

I've always been partial to big dogs. At the moment, my world includes a dumpy Old English Sheepdog I loved beyond all explanation ten minutes after she walked into my life. But because of her, I regularly find myself kneeling to meet a Pug or a Chihuahua and get a glimpse of the completely different way they see the world too.

And like any other part of life, seeing it from several perspectives gives you a better idea of where its truth really lies.

Which brings me to suggesting that if you don't own a dog, you need to go right out and adopt one.

One of the best places to learn how you do that is run by the people who make Pedigree dog food. I want to point out that my dog doesn't eat Pedigree. But a lot of healthy and happy dogs do. And a lot more will because of this blog post.

Right now, for every blog written about the Pedigree Adoption Program, the company will donate a 20 lb. bag of their new product "Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs" to an animal shelter. That's enough to feed a single dog for a month.

If you don't write a blog but still want to help, just search out their facebook page where a single click will send a bowl of food to a shelter dog.

So far, that initiative alone has provided 1.1 Million meals for shelter dogs. And that part of the campaign will continue until Pedigree has donated 4 million bowls of food – one for every dog that will end up in an American animal shelter this year.

But by far the best option, is to adopt a dog and feed it yourself, because what you'll also be feeding is your soul.

1 comment:

deborah Nathan said...

Amen to that.