December 20, 2023Animal Lessons - Humility

Human beings have a tendency to get carried away, especially when they find something really good that really works. Then we want to tell all our friends and relatives and make sure that they find out, too. We can actually get a little too joyful at times. All that exuberance can be a bit off-putting. Now instead of drawing others in, you’re pushing them away!

But not to worry, the Creator understands us better than we understand ourselves. He built checks and balances into the natural world. Life is all about balance. 

It is true that the joy of being alive will inject energy and motivation into everyday living, but we’ll burn out if we live in that high-energy state all the time. We have to settle down to an even flow to get our chores done every day and to keep life humming along. There are proper times and settings for being exuberant and excited. Then there are times to settle down and put our nose to the grindstone and get things done. We need some balance …

So God gave us cats.

If dog spelled backwards is God, then what do you get when you spell cat backwards?

Nothing! Because, frankly, cats don’t really care! There’s no better wet-blanket to put out the flames of out-of-control glee than the cold indifference of a feline.

Nobody can love you like a dog.

A dog will show you how to love life. How to grab hold and go for it. How to keep moving forward.  All you have to do is look in their direction and the answer is always, YES! You’ll start to feel invincible, like you can do anything you set your mind to … and that’s not a totally bad thing. A little ambition is like striking a match to keep warm, but if the flames get out of control, they can kill you.

Human beings can get out of control, especially when they get to feeling really good and really invincible. All that raw energy and emotion fills us up and we can get a bit heady. We need to remember our very real limits ... we need to remember that we don’t have as much control as we tell ourselves ... we need to be told, NO! … we need a cat.

Nobody can love you like a cat.

A cat will tell you Yes! sometimes. They’ll crawl up in your lap and purr and coo, and make you feel so warm and loved. They’ll look up at you and narrow their eyes … I adore you, human! They’ll be sitting on your hand while you’re trying to work, and weaving themselves around your feet while you’re trying to walk. Whatever you’re doing, they want to be right in the middle of it. They love you, they adore you, they’re your number one fan.

Then one horrible day, when life has really beaten you up, you’ll trudge home, anticipating some comfort and understanding from your Number One Fan. You’ll call their name. They might be on the other side of the room, or they might be sitting right beside you on the couch. They’ll look up at you and narrow their eyes – or maybe they’ll just turn and walk away – Eat dirt, mortal!

Because a cat will teach you to respect life, and how to live with grace and dignity ... mostly respect, grace and dignity towards them.

Because mortals need to be reminded occasionally that they are, after all, merely mortal.

It will sting. But most of life’s important lessons sting. Remember: it’s good for you! It’ll keep you in line and toughen you up!

And if the pain is really unbearable, go play with the dog.

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