Insights from my CAT

on 27 April 2010

I must admit that I am a pet-person.  I think it's one of those things, either you are or you're not.  And if you're not, well that's ok.  But you may not get what I'm about to write.

See.  12 years ago I brought Leike home.  Don't blame me for the weird name, my brother named her just after he got home from his mission in Holland.  Anyway, she's was tiny, the runt of her litter, when I brought her home.  And maybe it was the rather unpleasant relationship I had just escaped from, but I absolutely freakin' loved this cat.

Anyway.  She and I have survived quite a bit together, she trekked across the country with me, sat with me as I practiced french verbs and russian declensions.  She's sat on my feet while I've written, I don't even know how many papers.  And aside from the comfort aspect of our mutual friendship, she's been giving me the occasional insight.

See, Leike is a bit deluded.  She thinks she's a mighty huntress, Queen of the Wild Outdoors, Fearsome One to Behold, Leike the Destroyer of Birds and very small Rodents!

But really, she's just an over-grown, pampered feline who doesn't know the first thing about hunting.

I was watching her yesterday.  She was rubbing my legs and pawing at the back door and HOWLING (all caps) to go was sunny and windy and there were birds a-plenty.  And I kept shushing her and reminding her that she is not quite the fearsome hunter that she thinks she is and I realized something...

What if the majority of our frustration and dissatisfaction with life is precisely for the same cause?  What if we're all delusional, we all think that we're one thing--talented and smart and pretty and special--but really, we're just quite average and ordinary?  And what would happen if we were to accept our ordinariness and admit that it's not only ok, but pretty darn fine being ordinary and moved on with our lives?  Would we be more successful?  More fun to be around?  Happier?

Or--just the same but phrased a bit differently, what if we accepted and acknowledged that everyone is talented and smart and pretty and special in their own ways--we may just not know what those ways are just yet?  What if we admired more and questioned less?  What if we started off thinking the best of people instead of assuming the worst?  What would the world look like if we actually lived like that?

For now, I'm feeling decidedly less delusional.  I'm ok being fairly ordinary.  I know certain things about myself...I'm not a fashionista, I will never have an etsy shop and while I do just fine with pets, I can't seem to keep a plant alive.  But you know what?  I know how to ask where the toilet is in 4 different languages.


Brett said...

Definitely the latter. And sometimes I think the world would be an easier place to navigate if we all carried around a sign letting everyone else know what makes us special. Yours would have a lot more on it than your linguistic accomplishments, trust me!

Sarah said...

Great post. When it comes to other people Layne has a policy of always assuming they are doing their very best. I know I would be happier if I could wrap my judgmental head around that idea and take it to heart. The other day I read this quote by Elbert Hubbard that I really like: "If men could only know each other, they would never either idolize or hate.” Everyone has strengths. Everyone has weaknesses. Wouldn't it be great if we looked for the strengths instead of the weaknesses not only in ourselves but also in others? I guess I should start working on that...

Sibley Saga .... said...

My sister says, "Don't judge others because they sin differently than you do."

I like that. And yet I feel pretty good about my being able to ask, "¿Donde esta el baňo?"