If I lose what I have

Post 37 of 38

If I am what I have, and I lose what I have, who then am I?

Erich Fromm

I saw this photo on a Facebook page, seeking to invoke sentiments of love and compassion among that page’s viewers, apparently because this obviously homeless man had a dog that he was caring for.  I assumed that without the dog in the photo, such sentiments would not have emerged, and indeed the photo was less likely to even have been posted.

Unlike other homeless folk then, this man invokes a sense of inherent goodness – his heart – because he loves a dog, equally as homeless apparently as he.

What sentiments do the non-dog-owning homeless invoke in us, if any?

We are all defined in many ways by many people, and indeed we just as easily define ourselves in these same ways.  I’ve been a nurse – the most respected of all professions alongside firefighters – I’m a mother of two smart, very pleasant and well-behaved teenagers, a far better/higher status than that of a mother of very young children since I’m now a successful mother, by society’s standards – I’ve been a chief executive of large organisations (huge social status) – and a post-grad university graduate, so I have several certificates that purport to establish my intelligence – I’m now a writer, an author, and about to be a published author (yes, there are distinctions to be made here).

If you didn’t know all these definitions of who I am, you might define me by what I wear, by the length and colour of my hair, by my body shape and height, by my age, by the colour of my shoes…

Do any of these things tell you anything really important about me?  Do they tell you if I’m funny?  Do they tell you if I have a big heart?  Do they tell you if I’m a bitch?  Do they tell you if I’m a woman of easy virtue?  Do they tell you of the love I fold into the cookie dough I make?  Do they tell you whether, like many people, I’m afraid of the future?  Do they tell you if I’m lonely?  Do they tell you about the time I risked my life to save another’s?  Do they tell you that my heart was broken?  Do they tell you that I feel very small?  Do they tell you of the despicable things I did that hurt people I love?  Do they tell you that I don’t care for my country half as much as I do for the world?  Do they tell you my best friend is an Iraqi war refugee?  Do they tell you my child died?  Do they tell you I’m happy?  Do they tell you I worked hard all my life, paid my taxes, and then lost my job through redundancy, lost my home because I couldn’t afford the mortgage, lost my family because I couldn’t feed them, nearly lost my life in your war?

But if I pick up my dog and cuddle her it makes you feel good.

Tags: , , , ,

This article was written by tryinggodspatience


Gary L. ClarkJanuary 21, 2012 at 2:36 pmReply

Thank you, TGP. Thank you.

barb EiseleJanuary 21, 2012 at 4:48 pmReply

Thank you, Sue. Spot On. Maybe it’s because this man with the dog evokes the heart of him and it’s tender. For me to see homeless men and women evokes pain and maybe it brings forth too much pain in my heart. things to ponder.

auntaudJanuary 21, 2012 at 5:21 pmReply

That really made me think. So many interesting points! It really hit home, as I have been an animal lover all my life, and have a business caring for dogs.
Even more thought provoking, were the many examples of how society judges us by our appearance! Turning 50 has made me more accepting of my flaws as well as being less judgemental of others. Youth is wasted on the young.
I appreciated this posting more than words can say!

Trying God’s PatienceJanuary 21, 2012 at 7:45 pmReply

Wow – thanks Auntie Aud – appreciate it – also turning 50 very soon and it’s indeed an interesting time just as you say. xx

drew andersenJanuary 21, 2012 at 7:24 pmReply

Thank you for sharing!
What the world needs now might be less religion but MORE spirituality…

Trying God’s PatienceJanuary 21, 2012 at 7:48 pmReply

You’re welcome, Drew; thanks. Myself, I’m a great lover of both, but not at all blind to the human tampering with religion to the extent that many have lost sight of their core perhaps. I hope to talk about that and similar kinds of things in this new blog. Great to have people’s feedback. xx

Win DinnJanuary 22, 2012 at 2:31 amReply

I’m glad you are uploading your blog to FB – your photos are the ones I most frequently share on my page. I look forward to more thought-provoking snippets (or longgets!) in future….

Trying God’s PatienceJanuary 22, 2012 at 10:28 pmReply

Thanks, Win; that’s wonderful! I really appreciate your feedback. xoxo

Shreya ShangariJanuary 22, 2012 at 9:40 pmReply

How you bring sight, vision and thought together is inexplicably intriguing to see and unfold in your words. Touching and thought-provoking.

Trying God’s PatienceJanuary 22, 2012 at 10:28 pmReply

Thank you, Shreya! xoxo

janet whittenFebruary 5, 2012 at 2:21 amReply

we never know what causes someones plight. And SOMETIMES we are quick to judge. WISE IS THE PERSON THAT CAN LOOK INSIDE THE PICTURE FROM BEYOND THE FRAME. AND BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO CAN STAND BESIDE HIM. As for dogs well I have a bunch of em and they are worth more than any earthly treasure to me. I believe we all are responsible and should reach out keeping in mind that we are blessed.

Debra CorneliusFebruary 24, 2012 at 3:24 amReply

Thanks for always giving me something to think about! 🙂 I saw your Facebook page and decided to come here and visit! Have a blessed day!

Trying God’s PatienceMarch 1, 2012 at 11:28 amReply

Thanks Debra, you’re welcome. xo

shesailsApril 21, 2012 at 4:19 pmReply

Touched my soul … thank you!!

Trying God’s PatienceApril 22, 2012 at 2:38 pmReply

Thank YOU! xoxo