The greatest life lesson we learn from our dogs
My team suggested that I write several editions of the weekly news in advance to create a bit of a buffer while I am away in the Czech Republic spending the holidays with my family.
Whenever I write about my travels, I am torn about how much to share. First, I am not even sure if you are interested and second, I know that not everyone can travel and I don’t want my writing to sound like bragging.
These thoughts usually lead me to the conclusion that the best way to write is not to hide behind a public mask. In our society, these masks come in several forms: Some people brag on Facebook ;-) while their real lives are very different, others are artificially modest, and hide their good life and success as if none of it matters.
The truth is, we most admire those who are themselves and do not hide behind a facade. Being ourselves takes the least effort, which frees energy to help others.
Traveling also helps me see that there is nothing more important than health. No matter where I go, no matter how affluent or poor people are, the value of health is constant. Once in a while, I get a special reminder of this. For example, a month ago, I let my friend convince me to join an acrobatic yoga group. It was fun, but then, I accidentally fell on my head and put my neck out. My muscles tightened up, my fingers went partially numb and tingled. I was lucky not to be worse hurt, but the accident also made me feel more empathy for people and animals who suffer serious injuries.
I also could not stop thinking about the millions of dogs that suffer neck injuries from collars without their people knowing.
Speaking of empathy and focus on others, the 10’s (is that how one marks 2010-2019?) may be the era of Amazon, Uber, Netflix, Facebook and Instagram, but it also seems to be an era of the selfie-obsession. Call me old-fashioned, but I obsessively remind my Natural Healing Team that the best way to create a good and meaningful life is to continually refocus from the word “I” to the word “You.”
The word “I” represents “alone” and the word “you” goes hand in hand with caring, compassion, empathy and connection. Without “YOU,” “I” is meaningless.
Perhaps this is the core reason why we love our dogs so much. Dogs always focus on “YOU.” I believe that this is one of the greatest lessons dogs teach us - a formula for creating your version of a good life.
Wishing you and your two and four-legged family members a happy and healthy holiday!
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM