Why People Love Dogs

Why People Love Dogs

Dogs disagreed“The way I see it, dogs had this big meeting, oh, maybe 20,000 years ago. A huge meeting—an international convention with delegates from everywhere. And that’s when they decided that humans were the up-and-coming species and dogs were going to throw their lot in with them. The decision was obviously not unanimous. The wolves and dingoes walked out in protest.

Cats didn't agree with dogs“Cats had an even more negative reaction…(denouncing) canine subservience to the human hyperpower…Using guile and seduction, they managed to get humans to feed them, thus preserving their superciliousness without going hungry.

“Dogs, being guileless, signed and delivered. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Charles Krauthammer, “Of Dogs and Men,” Things That MatterContinue reading

Sleepers

Sleepers

I love finding sleepers—the movies that don’t make it big in the theatres but have a beautiful story to tell. But I’m especially drawn to movies that portray one of the four kinds of love as defined by Buechner here:

“The love for equals is a human thing—of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely.

The world smiles.

The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing—the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.

The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing—to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints.

And then there is the love for the enemy—love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.”

—From The Magnificent Defeat by Frederick Buechner

Here are some sleeper recommendations:Continue reading

Belonging

Belonging

He didn't belongHe didn’t belong. In high school, the boys relentlessly hounded him. They chased him through parking lots, hurling accusations that he ratted on kids using drugs. He was small for his age. Apparently there wasn’t enough money in his family to straighten his crooked teeth.

His alcoholic father seemed non-existent, a shadow now and then in their tiny house. He felt hated by his mother. She once told him to go off and kill himself. I remember the tears that welled in his eyes as he recounted her words. His name was Scott.

My world was utterly different. My parents were stable, kind, and present. At school, I’d been ushered into the popular group, because I was dating a track star named Tony. Still I offered Scott my friendship. I baked him a molasses cake for his birthday and invited him to our Young Life club. I wanted him to know that God’s love was real. But his sense of self was damaged.

Joy of belongingAuthor and teacher Arthur Burk says that personhood starts to form when we are very young—when you find a particular joy in something, such as loving to paint or learning to dance or collecting rocks. Simple things.

Encouragement is belongingYou start to feel like a son or daughter, says Burk, when you experience your parents delighting in you as you “enjoy your joy.” Maybe your mom cooed when you handed her your first finger-painting. Perhaps your father smiled when you showed him an assortment of stones from the driveway. Like invisible strands of love and acceptance, those seemingly mundane connections are profoundly formative, yet in dysfunctional families, they are often missing.Continue reading