Monday, October 24, 2011

A Cat's Tale

Lessons in life come in odd guises sometimes.

My son and daughter-in-law in San Diego owned a cat, a large gray and white puss named Oliver. Alas, Oliver began peeing on their furniture. After trying everything they could to stop the habit, they finally turned Oliver into an outdoor cat, something you can do in San Diego’s climate.

Every morning they put out food and water, but Oliver is never allowed inside. Recently, while visiting, I was sitting on their patio when Oliver appeared and jumped in my lap, obviously wanted to be petted. As I stroked him, he began to purr, and I thought: how sad. He likes to be held and loved, but chose behavior destined to lose the very thing he craves. And I wondered: don’t some human beings do the same?

Our actions inevitably do have consequences. If we want to receive love, we must act in a manner that considers the needs of others. Thank you, Oliver, for reminding me of a tough but necessary truth.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quick Encounter

There is a gift in simply being present with someone, even if the encounter lasts only 30 seconds. When I make eye contact with the supermarket clerk or my table waiter, my eyes say "I see you. You are not a thing to me. Or merely an appendage to the cash register. You are  a person."

As we rush through our days,  let us stay conscious of each interaction. Remember that everyone we meet is a God-holder. Honor each person with eye contact and a smile. It doesn't matter if the person smiles back.  We're offering a gift, not a trade.