Earlier this week, one of my dogs had to have an emergency procedure. And I think it caught me off guard more than it did him. We went to see a specialist – I was thinking we would plan a course of treatment and go from there. I knew there might be a chance for surgery, but I thought it would be planned ahead, and certainly not on that very day!
So after the consultation, when the vet’s assistant came in and said “I’ll take Keely now” it caught me more than a little off guard. And I was even more unprepared for the paperwork required. Nevertheless, I melted down a little, then leaned in, and carefully read everything; I then made the quite difficult decisions asked of me to set things in motion. As I went through the paperwork with the assistant, she was emphatic that I be by my phone in case they needed to call me.
Upon leaving the center, I changed my ringtone to the loudest and most annoying available on my phone. Later in the day, my phone rang and of course startled not only me but the folks with me. Someone asked what was up with the ring. I explained that Keely was having surgery and I had been instructed to stay by the phone in case they needed to call me. And without hesitation, the response back to me was “Why? It’s just a dog!”
I fought the urge to say ‘it’ is a he, not an ‘it’! I also fought the urge to share that when we went through the paperwork, I had to sign off on external CPR, and internal CPR. As they were explaining to me exactly what internal CPR is, it certainly didn’t feel like Keely is ‘just a dog’.
And as went through his test results and the options – which were quite serious – it certainly did not feel like he is ‘only’ a dog.
My point is while Keely might be just a dog to someone else, he’s my dog, my family and greatly loved. What is ‘just’ to one person might be much more to another. Chances are, the filter you see things through is different than the person on the receiving end of your comment.
I think the same holds true for kind acts. Often we don’t realize how much a kind word or just a smile might make someone’s day. And many times, we will pass on a small gesture thinking it’s no big deal. However it could be a really big deal to the person on the other end. For some time, I’ve wanted to start a little project related to small acts and the filters we might see things through. And the events and emotions of this week have challenged and inspired me to stop thinking about it…and just do it!
Stay tuned here – next week I am going to kick off a project for us to embark on together. So…check back to learn more and join me I am getting excited, and I promise it will be fun! In the meantime, give careful thought to how others may be perceiving your words and actions – your world will be a better place for it.