I’ve decided to stop listening to the news.
Another day brings another crazy action by our president or news of a fresh terrorist act.
It was not doing me any good to learn of another bad thing happening.
(I’m not making this a 100% rule… I am willing to learn what’s happening, but I don’t necessarily need to know the details. And part of my job requires me to be on top of what’s up, at least locally.)
Instead, I’m trying to focus on good things:
- When I ride my bicycle on some local trails, I benefit from the work of trails maintenance people who evened out many of the dips and jolts between concrete slabs. (See photo above.)
- I live in a town where it’s possible to ride my bike to work.
- There’s easy access to health care here. My daughter and son were attacked by poison oak recently, and they were able to easily get treatment. We paid cash (no insurance involved), and it was just $40 for each visit.
- I live in a country where I can visit the church of my choice freely and not worry about government officials arresting me.
- I have a warm and dry place to live.
- My family is healthy (now that poison oak is almost history).
- I have a job that I love.
I could go on. And should.
The idea of focusing on the good is not my own. I give credit to another Paul — see here.
And Austin Kleon agrees.
The human-animal connection is unlike any other. We understand and interact with our pets at varied levels. On my little chart, dogs are the highest-interacting animals. Dogs also seem to have the ability to experience greater depths and heights of emotion than any other animal.
No one would argue with the idea that goldfish are the least interactive of any pets. (I have yet to hear of anyone making a pet out of a snail.)
I’m a cat lover. Generally, cats can be as smart as dogs. But cats certainly care less about humans than most dogs do. Or at least cats love to give the impression of not caring that a human is around. “What? Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you were there.”
And that’s part of the reason I like cats more than dogs. Our cat can survive without my attention.
As soon as you enter its field of perception, a dog will run over to interact with you — run to you and not walk.
But what if I want to be ignored? That’s not part of a dog’s universe.
Our cat, Floof loves us, even when he’s asleep.