While human beings might be the more intelligent, more refined species, time and time again I see invaluable lessons to learn from our four-legged friend, the dog – especially concerning the people you love.
Apparently, I’m not alone, as I recently started reading a book entitled, Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog.
From Amazon, “In this “little gem” (Washington Independent Review of Books), Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and New York Times bestselling author Dave Barry learns how to age happily from his old but joyful dog, Lucy.”
At first you might be thinking, what could humans possibly learn from a dog?
But I assure you, Dave’s lessons are anything but inconsequential. They are truly profound and remind you that sometimes the greatest lessons about life and love often come from the simplest of teachers.
Take lesson #3 for instance – Pay attention to the people you love (Not Later. Right now.).
Dave says, “Lucy spends every second she can being as close as she can be to the people she loves. This makes her a happy dog.”
Most dogs will fall in love with anyone who pays them the least bit of attention – especially anyone who pets their head or rubs their belly for any length of time.
But humans, we’re more self-serving – often demanding that if we’re going to give our time and love to other people, we want to make sure it’s something we deem worthy of the effort.
Dogs possess the incredible ability to provide unconditional love (always), whereas humans place unending conditions on their affections with a “what’s in it for me” mindset.
- We assign more importance to entertaining events in our lives (sports, television shows, etc.) than we do spending quality time with other people.
- We’re constantly looking at our cell phones when in the company of others (many times unnecessarily), which shows a lack of respect for someone’s presence.
- When someone is telling us a story that’s important to them, we’re often disengaged and thinking of something that’s more important to us. Hearing someone doesn’t mean you’re really listening.
Lesson #3 concludes with this statement:
“In the end, all that really matters – all you really have – is the people you love. Not your job, not your career, not your awards, not your money, not your stuff. Just people.”
While human beings might be the more intelligent, more refined species, dogs have a much better understanding of how important it is to pay attention to the people they love in their lives. Not later. Right now.