Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let sleeping dogs lie

I have two dogs, both of whom enjoy sleeping on their respective beds in my study. As I am on the computer or at my desk, they are sleeping and I can hear them snore. Whether I read the news, or psychology or even philosophy, they snore through it.

While many of us imagine that what we do is important, the truth is that apart from our relationships, what we actually do is banal and unimportant. The dogs, and others can easily sleep through our exploits, our work, our accomplishments. To demonstrate that this is the case, name the person who won the nobel prize for Chemistry three years ago? What about the prize for physics four years ago? Chances are you cannot, and yet you could easily name people that have made a difference in the world and in your life by their sense of compassion and mercy towards others.

When I get up to take my dogs for a walk, or play with them, or even brush them, they wake up. You can hear them sigh and say "Finally! she is doing something important!" Maybe the idea is not so much to let sleeping dogs lie, but to learn from them that the truly lasting things in life are the relationships and friendships that we build with others.

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