This is a rewrite of a blog I wrote about 3 years ago. I just felt it was timely again.
Recently, my husband and I took the step of ditching our regular TV provider. We now get our boob tube entertainment via the internet – and quite frankly, this has been working out really well for us. However, it means that if I want to keep up on news and headlines, I have to search them out. My daily foray onto the news sites returned the following:
ISIS: Why we enslave women
Vietnam vet’s leg stolen at NFL game
Ranger disrespected by flight crew
Brawl erupts after NASCAR race
And on…and on… and on…
It’s enough to make you want to jump out the window (which given that I am on the first floor probably won’t solve anything.) But yesterday, I think I may have discovered the solution to all the world’s problems. Okay – that’s a gross exaggeration, but I may have hit on a thought that could help a little… Puppies! Yes, I said puppies!
My friend and I meet at a local coffee shop on Sundays whenever we can. We sit, eat delicious quiche, and catch up on whatever comes to mind. At yesterday’s java joint, I had the opportunity to watch a fascinating thing happen. I brought our new puppy Stella with me, and as we sat and drank our coffee, the most interesting phenomena began to occur. Each person that walked by stopped to play with Stella. They stopped in groups, singles, and couples; they were young and old; black and white; tall and short; high-heeled and sneakered.
Fostering world peace at the coffee shop with friend Amanda
They were all unknown to each other, drawn by this little black and white fur ball of bouncing energy. At one point, there were at least three different groups of strangers, all playing together on the sidewalk in front of the café. And as they played, they began to interact with each other. One woman bought a cup of coffee for an older gentleman; someone else took the time to pledge money for an Aids walk; a young couple helped an elderly lady cross the road – and the catalyst to all of these acts of kindness was a silly little puppy.
Stella advising her new dad.
So, is my answer to world peace a puppy? Well, sort of. Okay, not really. But if you stop and think about it for a minute, you might start to see some sense in what I am saying. After all, I’m positive that the diversity among the individuals playing together on that sidewalk also represented an enormous diversity in belief systems. None of that mattered for the few precious minutes of happy puppy playtime. People that might otherwise never interact smiled, talked, and enjoyed a few moments together. And their actions reflected the small transformation a puppy had on their worlds.
Can we change the world with puppies? Well, no. But we can take that small lesson and realize that, for a few minutes, the world became just a little bit better – that adversity and differences among individuals can, in fact, be set aside for a brief moment. And, if you can set your differences aside for one moment, who’s to say you can’t do it for two, or three, or four or… Moreover, just maybe, those who stopped to play with that puppy, took the feeling with them and made someone else’s day a little bit better as well.
So to the world leaders out there reading this blog (because I’m sure some of them do,) at your next meeting, take a puppy with you. It just might make a difference.
Stella – ever inquisitive. The new ambassador for world peace.