In honor of Labor Day, a day in which women labor to give birth and workers labor to pay bills, I’m reposting a revised version of We’re a Nation of Mutts (2010) to remind us that in spite of our differences, we’re all the same.
Many of our grandparents and grandparent’s parents traveled to this great land of ours from other places across an ocean.
My mother’s father was born in Russia, my mother’s mother in Hungary.
My father’s father was also born in Hungary.
However, my father’s mother, or Nanny, as we used to call her, was born in Denver, Colorado. No ocean crossings in the Colorado limb of the family tree. Just a country crossing with jugs of water.
I have a picture somewhere of my grandmother when she was a girl seated atop a horse drawn wagon. Pretty cool. I know. A time before there were herds of cars and hordes of car recalls.
I’m talking to you, Toyota, which is also from across an ocean. Maybe the working parts dropped along the way.
Sorry, for the tangential off-topic ramble to which I am inclined.
Now, I’m back on track and on to the bottom line.
Like my two mutts, Jenny, who is from Puerto Rico…
and Jake, who is from West Virginia…
I am also a mutt, although I won’t eat food off the floor unless the ten-second rule applies.
I am no better or worse than other mutts huddled en mass in food courts in a mall. Many of whom will curse a stranger who accidentally bumps into them, causing an angry exchange of words as blood pressures rise.
No one walks away a winner.
Why is it easier to lash out in anger than to feel empathy for a stranger? That person who is a stranger to you is also someone’s neighbor, friend or lover.
Too often, we focus on our differences and forget our similarities. We choose to alienate rather than to associate.
We need to be more like our canine sisters and brothers who accept one another after a quick trot to the rear and a sniff of the butt.
We need to follow our dog’s lead and metaphorically sniff the butt of every stranger, as we are all the sum of our parts. It is only because of these parts that we can be whole, kind of like multi-grain bread, which is good for you, by the way.
If we lose sight of who we are and who we live among, we lose sight of what binds us together as a nation.
I’m not talking about fiber. I talking about fabric, specifically, the fabric of our society and keeping it from unraveling, leaving our nation tattered, fragmented and worn.
After all, we are a nation of mutts, living in family packs in suburban neighborhoods and on city blocks.
We may not all look the same, but we all want the same mutt stuff for ourselves and for our pups.
Isn’t it time we embraced our inner mutts.
Do you embrace your inner mutt?