Diogenes was a philosopher of ancient Greece; one of his best known eccentricies was to purpotedly wander the countryside with a lantern, looking for the last honest man on earth. When the wealthy investors of his school sought to control his message by controlling his funds, he promptly took a lesson from the stray dogs in the area and took up residence instead in a large barrel.
His followers were known as Cynics, taken from the Greek word cygnos meaning “doglike”, living for the moment, always questioning society’s norms and rejecting it’s foibles; I can only imagine what Diogenes would have to say about today’s self centered “celebrities”. No doubt the Grecian nobility thought this title was an insult, but what greater honor can there be, to be described as “dog like”?
Sure, I do things in public that some find inappropriate, barking too loud, hunkering when and where I want with no shame of reprisal, but also have qualities that humans can only dream of; unquestioning loyalty, unending gratitude, undying devotion.
Years ago, dad had a massive Labrador Retriever named Beebe; Beebe lived to fetch anything that flew, but had a particular proclivity for golf balls, and could easily carry them four at a time with his cavernous mouth completely closed. One morning a passing minister, a fine man by the name of Harry Giffon, was having breakfast at the Casa and asked old Bee if he wanted a piece of bacon, to which he (Beebe, not the minister) responded by promptly spitting the golf balls out on the kitchen floor. The message later that morning was concerning how we should serve God and our fellow man like Beebe, with total abandon and without reservation.
And it seems that humans take themselves waaaay too seriously, buying the latest motorcycle, auto, home, vacation, etc, to impress their neighbor, when they would be humbled if they realized he’s so wrapped up in his own drama that he’s actually paying far less attention to theirs than they might think.
Dad was questioning me yesterday about the book, second guessing his decision to open himself up to ridicule, when it came to me; what dog fears criticism from anyone other than his or her master? If we allow others to dictate our actions based on our fears of what they might think, aren’t we making them our masters by default? And doesn’t that make Fear the ultimate Master? Perfect love casteth out fear, perfect meaning in this context absolute, complete, incorruptible, without compromise or reservation…
You know, like a dog would do it.