As a child I was told, ‘you don’t have to like everyone you meet, but you do have to love everyone’. As an adult, I finally understand the meaning of this statement. Interesting how dogs learn it a lot quicker than humans.
Maggie was very fussy about who she invited into her backyard. She immediately barked at any newcomer, then would slowly approach & sniff. If you passed her criteria (don’t ask what it was, I still don’t know), then all future meetings were met with a pounce of her paws & come hither turn of her head. What about the dogs that didn’t pass Maggie’s criteria? Most of the time, Maggie would watch them walk by with their owner. She would sit calmly by the picket fence, maintaining eye contact, but would never approach. One day, something interesting happened. A dog that Maggie wasn’t fond of was being heckled by a red-tailed hawk. The dog & her owner tried to continue their walk, while doing their best to ignore the bird. Maggie saw this and began to bark. She paced along the fence, while the hawk flew by repeatedly. Maggie didn’t stop barking. Eventually, the hawk gave up and flew away. Maggie went back to her resting spot.
We meet many people during the course of our life. Some people become friends for a time, while others become life-long relationships. And then, there are some people that we just don’t like. No matter the reasons for disliking someone, we must always recognize the need to love everyone. Everyone needs help now & then, and everyone deserves a chance to receive our love & kindness. We must never confuse not liking someone with hating them. The process of validating hatred towards someone requires a history of consistent abuse, neglect or evil behavior a person has knowingly & willingly conducted towards another. I’d like to think this type of person is a low percentage of the human race.
Maggie didn’t like every dog in the neighborhood, but she allowed them to walk by her fence in peace & quiet- offering help when needed. Shouldn’t people do the same?