"What Defines Us" by Rolly A. Chabot
We have near reached the time when the Fireside fires will not be lit again until the fall season. Just getting a little warm to be having fires but for tonight I have one burning just for you.
Welcome one and all I must clarify the last statement a little. The chats we have will still be here but I think we had better be using one of those TV fires to cut down on the heat.
I took Quigley for a walk this afternoon and the question came to mind that asked me what defines us as people. Male and female we are all alike really. We need to look deep at what makes us tick, what attracts people or what offends them about us.
Gather around and lets see where my ramblings lead tonight... Help yourself to coffee, tea and of course some hot chocolate. Please make yourself at home... above all no matter what I blabber about I want you to know that you are loved.
Willie The Cat
He taught Me
This is Willie the cat. As silly as he looks, he had or had a personality. Not all that sure he is still around. To tell you the truth I think he was on his ninth life when we met. We met last summer at a cabin I rented on Galiano Island on the West coast of Canada. He well sort of came with the property. I had no idea Willie was the permanent resident but as fate would have it he was. He knew he belonged or maybe he was just a bum looking for a handout.
What was different about Willie is you either accepted him as he was. You see he was the boss of the cabin and had access through a second story window. He basically was the owner. I never did meet the owner of the property, just sent her a check for the stay. I think Willie was my guest whom happened to find a soft spot in me. Willie and I would spend hours just laying around. He had one of the loudest motors I have ever heard and would slobber all over you.
Could you love Willie is the question. Did Willie give a darn. The answer was no, he loved attention. A stroke along his back and a pull of his tail was all he looked for, well that and some high priced cat food that I later learned I was suppose to buy. His owners apparently forgot to buy food for him.
Willie is old, Willie has a matted coat and he cares not about what he looks like. Play with Willie and he may respond to a string or he may just sit there and look at you and wonder what are you doing. You see Willie just never cared. "Why?... well Willie was who Willie was, he was himself. No frills and not a care in the world.
Could we say that Willie was smart. I think so because he was just himself. But take Willie and turn him upside down and you had a friend for life, especially if you gave him a sound rubbing. I might add I was the only person who did and his affection was second to none. He was just being Willie. My question is can we just be ourselves no matter what we look like, no matter what people perceive in us. Barring the bad days do people like us the way we are. I hope so because if they do not, don't expect me to change. "Like Willie you get what you get."
I am different
This rock was no different than the many thousands on the beach the day I took this picture. What stood out in my mind was the vegetation that had decided to call it home. It adorned itself aboard and was not about to let go.
You see both the rock and the vegetation depened on each other. Not much different than people in the sense that we seek others to care for us and look after us in those period of when the heat comes and we dry out. We depend on each other in so many ways.
It spoke to me that we are the same. We sit waiting and we are dead until we are recognized by another and love is spoken into us and we again come alive. You see we are all alike, we do need to have some recognition.
No matter where we are in life or what we do we need others to see us and say well done. The struggles we face are no different in many ways. I mean they do come to us, you know the struggles. it is often that we can look at them and point fingers and say "Yup its all your fault," when in reality it is all ours. I mean who made the decision to turn this way or that, come now own up to it... Yes it is all ours.
Can we be like Willie and just say, "Here I am. Like me or leave me, either way here I am." Do people cal us to be different to change according to their perception of us. Or is it the perception we want them to see in us?
Are We Strong
Are we strong and reliable like this little guy. Do we climb to the top and seek the prize. If we do what pray tell is the prize. Is it possible the prize is acceptance? If so we need to ask ourselves what is the price we are willing to pay to be accepted. Are we willing to sell our souls to meet the approval of others.
I am a simple man in many ways. I can enjoy a bowl of popcorn while watching some senseless TV program. Some mindless sitcom that speaks of nothing but vanity. What harn does it do to entertain myself. Nothing really as long as you do not get caught up in the character and eventually live out the fantasy in real life.
Back in the earlier years many of us watched Archie Bunker. Yes he was funny and yes he played the role that many of us enjoyed being played out in real life. He personified who we really were in his words and his actions. Was it good for our egos, yes at the time. But really was his way and his view of the world what we are really made up of. You see I think what was so appealing was he was a man who spoke what was on his heart. He loved his wife Edith and his daughter and yet hated his new son-in-law.
Either you liked Archie or you soon began to hate him. Either way Archie was like Willie. He either grew on you or you turned away from him.
Take the roughest, toughest dirty filthy type biker guy you can imagine and place a puppy into his arms and he turns into a mushroom. Now that is real. It is the side of our personality that comes out when there is love involved. It is who we are, I mean we all have the gene of love. How we display it is how we want others to see us. We put on this hard or this soft shell yet down deep inside we have love. It is what makes the world go around.
Are we any different than these two rocks. I mean really we are the same... After all we live in the same world. No matter if you are the left or the right I need to accept you as you are. The minute I try and change you then there is conflict.
Have you ever heard them when we ask another "How are you doing?" The pat answer is always the same. "Great never been better." It is what we want to hear. We never want to hear the real struggles. Never want to get into the muck and the mire of someone else's issues, I mean heaven forbid.
The interesting part is we give the same answer. Why... Because we would hate to have someone actually look at us in a different light. I mean we all have it together right. Well I say "Bull Tweet." Sorry we have struggles, they may be related to marriage, finances, personal health or heaven forbid something very personal. It is all about perception and after all we do have our vanity to look after and maintain according to the standards we have set for ourselves, unlike Willie the cat.
That same pat answer saves us the embarrassment of having to be real. Take a moment and step in front of a mirror. Get rid of the Archie Bunker attitude and look at what you see. We are broken and we are searching for the ultimate standard. We all have something we suffer with, sometimes it is not pretty. We are not part of the red carpet people we follow through the Oscars. We are human but guess what so are the people we watch parade before our eyes. Think again if you think their lives are all glamorous. Theirs is a life of vanity and perception and what they would like us to think.
My problems are no different than yours in many ways. They are a reality and it is not until we admit to them do we find peace. To tell the truth will set us free. Strong or weak we all seek the same and that is to be loved and accepted. Test the theory sometime and when someone asks how you are, tell them you struggle. That is the real test of honesty and friendship when you say you struggle. If they are sincere and care about you and your well being they will stand with you. They will help carry your burden. If they turn away then they are Departure and they turn away and tell you about the sunshine.
Take the time today to listen, take the time to be a part of the lives of those you love and genuinely care about. Take the time an love and be loved. It is realness of life. Without it you are nothing, with it you are being who you are called to be.
Above all else know that you are loved... Be like Willie the cat and be yourself.... Know that you are loved and appreciated here today.... You are far more valued than you can ever imagine...
© Rolly A. Chabot
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