Sunday, May 6, 2012
I have been watching my cats this morning and I noticed a couple things. First there was Sasha getting ready to get off the kitchen counter. She is blind, or nearly so, and therefore understandably she moves carefully. She was leaning over the edge obviously trying to figure out if there was a piece of cat furniture below her. I could see that she would only have to drop about 4", but she couldn't and she was taking her time before deciding to launch herself off the counter. It would be easy for someone watching her to think that she was skittish or scared, but in fact I know she is very brave to attempt this, especially in a home such as mine where things move constantly. She is right to think twice because the furniture which was there yesterday might not be there today. I try to keep things the same for her in the immediate vicinity of both the washer/dryer and the kitchen counter, but things do have to move from time to time, to do laundry or find fabric, and it doesn't always end up exactly where it was before.
Anyway, such was my observation of my brave Sasha. Next I watched Thackeray dealing with my new desk which happens to have a glass top. I have never had a glass top before and so Thackeray also has never seen one. It has taken him several attempts before he finally trusted it enough to sit on it. As I type this he is sitting next to me purring loudly but even so he isn't moving around a lot. Again, I could say what a silly cat he is because he is bewildered by the glass, but instead, I find his investigations and final commitment to try it an evidence of his trust in me and his bravery.
This got me to think about the whole topic of bravery. My dog Oliver is afraid of much of the world and it takes a lot to gain his trust, but the rewards are immense. I am terrified by many things as well, as I know others are. Most of us are probably unaware of the acts of bravery which go on around us every day. And what seems easy to one of us, is very hard for another. Thackeray thinks nothing about jumping on and off everything. It is very easy for him. But for Sasha, it is a challenge requiring a lot of faith and courage. I suspect that Sasha would have no trouble with the glass since she can't see anyway. She wouldn't see things below the surface of the desk and wonder as Thackeray does.
If we can just remember that what seems simple to one seems equally terrifying to another. Having respect for others means understanding that our view of the world, our view of day to day events, is unique to us and that others have different views, equally true and valid, and understanding that we don't have a monopoly on truth is vital to living in peace and harmony.