I was out taking my daily walk along the river the other day. It was a very windy stroll, the kind where you think some of your hair might be blown off your head if you didn’t screw it down with a skull cap, which as we all know leads to bitter ‘hat hair’, but one problem at a time.
There wasn’t much in the way of wildlife to see, they being smarter than myself, because the wind made it hard to fly, hard to hear and difficult to smell so the wild creatures were hunkered down in their hiding places to wait it out.
About half way through my walk I saw a raven flying. He wings were slowly beating between glides and he tipped this way and that as he tried to make some headway but the wind was too strong to make any progress so he slanted his wings to catch the air and quickly about turned and was gone. He quit. It was the smart thing to do and it made me consider why we think quitting is such a negative thing. Maybe we should take a lesson from Raven.
We humans somewhere got the idea that to be ‘successful’ we had to forge ahead no matter what the signs are telling us to do. We don’t want to be quitters. Quitters are lazy, uninspired and gutless. They have no drive, no will, certainly no self-esteem and they don’t want to work for what they desire. They are cowards. That is how our society has defined someone who took an easier path, just as Raven did.
More to the point, we tend to inflict the same values on our animal companions. We ask them to jump off a dock for instance, but they are afraid. For some reason we think they must or they are somehow incomplete, somehow a ‘scaredy-cat’, a coward. We can’t have that. I have been asked many times does my dog like this? Sometimes the answer is no and sometimes yes, but I usually see the guardian doing the same thing no matter what the answer. Perhaps they are only one qualifying score away from a title. So who needs that title? Not the dog because he is not having fun doing it.
In our own lives we do the same thing to ourselves. We are taught we must strive, push and not take no for answer if we want to achieve our goal. There is a balance in all things but after a time of rolling that boulder uphill maybe it is time to step aside and let it go. When did we learn stepping aside is wrong? Where did we learn conflict is the answer?
Life is a joyous romp. A life should be filled with easy laughter and quiet moments surrendered to smiles and sometimes that requires quitting one thing to start something else. Not just in our lives, but every life, including our animal companion’s. We have to learn to read the signs we are given and lift a wing to catch the wind when we are not making headway and be willing to try something new, to go in a direction the energies want to take us.
Some consider Man at the top of the food chain. If that is true, I would think we would be at least as smart as Raven.