Monday, January 14, 2013

Cats and Dogs

Last week, I flipped on the TV one morning while I was eating breakfast and Marley and Me was on.  I had never seen the movie before, so I watched about thirty minutes of it, and it got me to thinking about dogs.  Then, during science/astronomy club, one of the kids brought up the idea of a continuum in which all animals are related and just at different places on it.  This train of thought is silly, but if there was a personality continuum from cats to dogs, where would humans be?  Or do we range the spectrum?

Owen Wilson makes this comment about Marley, the family's labrador-retriever: "A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his."

On the other hand, I would make this observation about my cat: "Kaiser doesn't care if you're rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. He expects to be fed and have your full attention at all times, regardless."
Kaiser, helping write the blog, of course!
Perhaps, humans don't fit on the scale because you can rarely find someone who doesn't care if you're rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull.  I am guilty myself.  Last weekend, I got to return "home" to Durham and the Duke campus. At brunch on Sunday, I thought to myself, wow, it's been a long time since I had to actively listen to a conversation to try to understand what's being discussed.  I like educated folk.  Their conversations challenge me.  And then I thought, does anyone talk to me and enjoy it as a challenge?

Maybe, maybe not.  I did realize this, though.  We are all educated, but on different subjects, different experiences, and different cultures.  For example, I would be just as compelled with people who never attended a day of college and have never missed a NASCAR race.  Because, for me, NASCAR is an education I've never received.  This quote from the movie struck me, because I was thinking who are the educated?  Aren't clever and dull opinions?  I can look at someone and say that person is dull, but he/she may intrigue the following person, because they have different educations.

And then, I got to the question of the dividing line, the rich and the poor.  This video, put out by the UMW and Global Ministries is awesome, because it asks that question, "Who are the poor?"  Each of us could be considered depending on who our comparison is.  If Bill Gates is the comparison, there are a LOT of poor people.  If I am a rich person, there are quite a few less poor people.

I hear people (kids and adults) say that they want to be rich some day.  But how do you define rich?  Do you want to go shopping with a credit card that has no limit?  Is there a dream car or house you desire?  Do you want to pay bills and not wait til the next paycheck arrives?

Proverbs 22:1 says,

"A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich;
    a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank."

When you start feeling poor, recognize the relativity.  There's always someone poorer than you; and there's always someone richer than you.  When you feel the least educated on a subject, know there's another subject that you may be the most educated.  And don't ever let anyone tell you you're dull, because they can't see your cleverness.

I'm guessing regarding the last phrase that differentiates Marley from Kaiser, it's a continuum that goes from Humanity to Deity.

God says, "Give me your heart, and I will give you mine," while we say, "give me all of your attention and don't let me be hungry."

God responds to our reply and grants most of our wishes, but how do we respond?

Give God your heart, and God will give you a heart of gold*
*though it has no value in USD

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