We have two dogs at my home. Maggie is our Scottie. She is nine years old, and she is very bright. Cheze is our beagle. She is three years old, and she is very loving. They have very different personalities, but they usually get along with each other. The other day, Cheze was in the office with me. As she watched out the window, she noticed movement on the perimeter. She barked, loudly and repeatedly. She decided that she must investigate. So, she went outside. Maggie was already outside in the fenced in backyard. Maggie was lounging in the sun on one of our deck chairs as Cheze charged out the door. Maggie did not know the reason for the barking, but she immediately took off from the deck, barking and defending the perimeter. The perimeter is the fence line around the backyard.
The reason for all the commotion was a few dead leaves being blown by the wind. There was no great emergency. There were no squirrels in the yard. There were no animals outside the fence. There was no threat to the safety of the family. There were just a few leaves. Their behavior reminded me of how we human beings act. First, we get all worked up when we perceive a threat. We become anxious. We decide immediate action is required. We make a lot of noise. We get others riled up and on alert. We have a chain reaction of anxiety and noise-making. We text and call about the perceived threat. We blow our horns in traffic. We make a lot of noise. We raise our own heart rates as well as the heart rates of others.
Sometimes there is no threat. Sometimes it is just a leaf blowing in the wind. Instead of jumping to a noisy defense, maybe we should take a more sensible approach. Maybe their should be more investigation and less jumping to defend. Maybe we need a sense of calm rather than jumping to a reaction. What if we support our friends by listening to them rather than reacting with them? Instead of barking, we may just need more understanding of the situations we and our friends encounter. If we are seeking peace, then maybe we should begin by living a more peaceful existence.