Observations and Dogs

I am an observer, so I shall tell you what I see.

I see my hands, forming these words. They are connected to a body, that which I call myself. When I look in the mirror, I see a face. My hair, my eyes, my mouth. It’s alive.

In turning away from the mirror, I observe my surroundings; the earth and sky all around me. There are trees and plants; forests, lakes, streams and oceans. There are clouds and stars at night. There is the moon and the sun. I also see wild animals and birds; although some are tamed.

And then there is my home where I breath and eat and sleep and defecate. It’s also where I work. And then there are the people with whom I interact: family, friends, spouse, children, parents, in-laws, co-workers, neighbors, strangers and the rest of humanity.

I know from what I have been told that I was born into this world and that one day I will die. I have learned from history that long before me there was still this earth with people and animals and trees.

That is what I see, but that is not all I see.

There is also a knowing—a seeing with non-physical eyes.

I am aware of my soul, blissful inside my body. I sense the spirits around me. I “see” an eternality that was before me and will be after me. I observe that something that made the world in which I live.

* * * * *

Oh, I also see a dog.

My friend adopted that dog.

He was lonely, and maybe so also was the dog.

He named it Freddy. I don’t know if Freddy named my friend.

Now neither of them seems as lonely.

I noticed that he feeds Freddy each day. But some days he forgets to give fresh water. Even so, Freddy seems to still love him. At least Freddy doesn’t leave.

My friend asked me, “Can an animal be capable of love as we know it?”

And so I pondered; If love is a feeling, then do all animals feel and express emotions? If love is a commitment, then do pets make commitments?

And I wondered if Freddy wonders about us? And what might he wonder?

Freddy certainly gets excited at times and he seems driven by things like treats and dinner. What else makes him tick?

 * * * * *

At the core, we are all driven by one involuntary force alone: To Live and Stay Living; that is, to Survive. Every alive being shares this common drive and destiny, even Freddy. Knowledge of this fact has the power to unify.

* * * * *

We always do first what keeps us alive. We eat, sleep, defecate, build shelters.

As people, we find a certain affinity with fellow humans to assist each other in our survival. Animals appear to have this instinct with each other as well.

In birth, we are brought forth from another. In giving birth, we give another life.

If we focus on the life, that is, the living experience, we appear to have three options: to encourage it, to be neutral about it, or to discourage it. Said differently, we can give life, be neutral, or take life. That is, we can either love, trade, or hate. Therefore, love and giving, go together. Similarly, taking and hate, go together. That is why a loving mother can give life to a child. Conversely, a violent and angry individual can take a life by killing.

Someone once said that the biggest obstacle to greatness, is goodness. That is, if something is good enough, it will never become something great.

Similarly, the greatest obstacle to love is not hate, but trade.

Trade is that sense of doing something, without having to do too much. It is primarily self-focused, and it is mostly about getting. It gives a false sense of encouraging life, without requiring someone to make much sacrifice. In that sense, trade is an enemy of true love.




Encourage Life

Be Neutral

Discourage Life








Partial Sacrifice

No Sacrifice




Jesus said that we are to love one another. Therefore, we may naturally ask ourselves, “Okay, am I hating anyone? I guess not, so I must be doing a good job.” But we also need to inquire how much we are trading, because trade can be an impediment to love. And Jesus did not say, “Trade, but just be nice about it.” Instead, he said to love, which is about giving, not getting. And real love is not trading.

I had a friend once who had a table he did not want. He was buying a new one. I asked him what he would do with his old table. He said get rid of it somehow, maybe donate it. I needed a table, but he did not know that. I asked him if I could take it off his hands. He then offered to sell it to me for $100. Now, why did he want to trade me money for that table that he did not want and was willing to donate? If I had been his child, would he have charged me $100? Or would he have given that worthless table away for free? Of course he would not have charged his child. But for me, since I was not related to him…and more importantly, because I was not someone he wanted to give to (that is to show love to), he opted to suggest a trade. Essentially, his did that because he was more interested in getting something, than in giving. And that demonstrates perfectly how trade is the biggest obstacle to love.

* * * * *

If I see an advertisement for a used bicycle, I might be tempted to buy it. Let’s pretend that I answered the ad and purchased the bicycle. Maybe I spent 10 minutes interacting with the former owner and then paid the money. I never saw that person before.

If the next day I find out that that person is dead, what will I think? Will I mourn the loss? Probably not. I did not know them.

* * * * *

I find it so interesting to think of how many films contain people killing each other, while comparatively so very few depict children being born. Even so, most storyized killings are not random acts of violence, but are more commonly characterized as a way to protect other lives. But still.

* * * * *

I also notice that Freddy the dog does not use any form of currency. It seems then that dogs either love or hate. But maybe they do not engage in trade with each other.

* * * * *

And so, to organize my observations, I see four main components to a human life:

  1. SELF

©2019, Alignment Life

[back to articles]