While enjoying dinner with a few colleagues at the Iron Cactus in Austin, Texas one of my friends blurted out, “There’s a cat on a dog! And there is a rat on the cat!” My immediate thought—no more margaritas for Robb. He repeated, “There’s a cat on a dog! And there is a rat on the cat!” We looked out the window—and indeed, there WAS a rat on a cat on a dog. Right there on the corner of Trinity and 6th Street.
The animals—Booger, Kitty, and Mousey—travel with Greg Pike. (You can find information including a video at http://bestpeacesign.com/.) After I snapped a couple of cell phone photos, I spoke briefly with Greg and asked him the question that he probably has been asked a thousand times—“Are they drugged?” Nope said Greg. They have become constant companions. Rather than fighting like cats and dogs (and rats), the mellow animals accept and, in some ways, care for one another. Greg shared that people generally ask a second question, “If they can do it why can’t we?”
The Austin street scene reminded me of a video I have used on occasion in class. A couple of years ago, CBS News did a piece on an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. The animals there tend to pair up and peacefully live out their lives. There is one odd couple, though: Tara and Bella. Tara is a gargantuan elephant; Bella, a shaggy mutt. The dog and pachyderm are inseparable. What a site to see them side by side. More amazing: Watching Tara pet Bella’s belly with her enormous foot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBtFTF2ii7U).
I know, I know. Animals are not people; nature can be very cruel to animals; these are anomalies. Yes, we can explain away most anything we want to—especially if it does not fit into our existing view of the world.
But why not, even if for a moment, sit back and wonder what it would be like to look past the differences. Consider if instead of living down to stereotypes, we created a new schema with which to interact with our world. Naïve? Perhaps. The CBS clip challenges us to “take a good look, America. Take a good look, world. If they can do it, why can’t we?” It goes beyond “tolerance”—right to “acceptance.”
This week, help someone see beyond difference and accept the similarities we share. You will make it a better world.
© Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog, 2010.
it’s fun reminder how acceptance in nature is an example that mankind could learn a great deal from.
Acceptance comes in many forms if a person can’t accept you for who you are they miss out on knowing what is it about you that’s different.Acceptance of knowing the truth about yourself and taking it for what it is and if change is needed do so.This is a great example of acceptance in this blog.
Acceptance can be a hard concept to grasp for some people. People tend to fear what they don’t understand, or agree with. This can make acceptance difficult. It would be a lot easier to accept each other if we kept in mind that we are all bore from the same stalk, so to speak. We are all humans and need to be accepted by our peers whether or not we dress alike or act the same. Once you fully know yourself then you can begin the process of accepting those around you. I think this blog is great the way it covers acceptance, how it has a picture and a video to illustrate the point he is trying to make.
Thanks for making a great point. It is difficulty to understand and love others if we do not understand and love ourselves.
I had to learned to accept life on it’s own terms,and in doing so I learned to accept people at face value.
We can surrender to what we cannot control and we can create what we can. The trick is determining which is which.
For people acceptance doesn’t come to them. For example, I read this book called, Not Accepted, and this african American girl was not accepted into her girlfriend’s family because she was black and that she was a lesbian. I feel like acceptance is for the strong-minded people who won’t judge a person and label them.
…and each of us can set an example of acceptance. Thanks for your insights.