*Please note – I started this post last Saturday and couldn’t finish.
Today I bandaged a dog’s foot. It was not my plan.
Daisy, my nervous, tiny, loving, competitive, unobservant, endlessly shivering Boston terrier, got stepped on by my massive, loving, competitive, unobservant, big-footed, rake-clawed, tightly wound Labrador retriever, Nessie.
Though Boston is assuredly capable of winning endless Superbowls, in the battle to get through our back door a decade old pup bred to sit on the lap of a Boston blue-blood is no match for a hound the size of a walrus bred to swim the Labrador Sea in the icy north Atlantic, dragging fishing nets behind.
Competitors, Sisters, Best Friends
It can’t be easy for Daisy living in the house with Nessie, but she doesn’t believe that it’s the size of the dog that counts. Daisy is, in a word, fearless.
She can often be found barking at the back fence at our neighbor’s giant black mastiff. Not just barking but digging in a frenzy while throwing frenzied doggie challenges to the unconcerned bear-sized monster. She wants a piece of him.
Daisy has clawed down chunks of wooden fencing in her pursuit, and if she wasn’t stopped would dig through. I’m certain she would stand her ground between us and Godzilla if the need arose.
But her late night dance at the back door in between Nessie’s lumbering paws did not go so well. She squealed as she got stepped on twice. Last night she bounced right back but by this morning she couldn’t put her left foot on the ground. Closer inspection revealed a nasty gash between her toes. Something had to be done and since Suzie was at work it was up to me.
Ideas Are Easy
My plan this morning was to change the world. I would bound out of bed, work out furiously, get Suzie to work and write something that would make a difference. I would start a business, invent time travel, find the cure for heartburn and take a break for lunch.
Instead, I stumbled out of bed, shuffled my way to the back door to let the dogs out and found that Daisy couldn’t walk.
After debating an emergency trip to the doggy ER, I decided I could probably take care of her paw. I drove to one store for bandages and another for a doggie boot to keep the bandage on. I washed the foot, applied antibiotic pain-killing goo, bandaged and booted a bull-headed dog and fell asleep cuddling her. Sigh.
I must remember this. There has never been an idea or a dream worth pursuing that didn’t immediately spawn buzzing distractions, urgent interruptions and downright emergencies.
I’ve been spoiled by recording studios. Imagine a sound proof room designed for creating with people turning away distractions at the front door and holding all calls. Cell phones are off. There are electronic locks, intercoms and buzzers to preserve your creative privacy.
No clocks are allowed. People actually expect to work late into the night. Talk is kept to whispers and flashing technology dances at your fingertips. Producers crack the whip and you can really get work done.
Change The World . . . Tomorrow
But out here in the real world I have no dog-bandaging interns. Puppies need love now. So do the rest of us. And there’s the point.
All of my world-changing ideas are a poor substitute for simple kindness and committed love – right now! Not movie love or novel love or internet love but the plain old, everyday, hard-working kind of love that the real world needs: take-out-the-garbage, clean-up-baby-vomit, change-diapers, bandage-the-dog kind of love.
Change The World A Little At A Time
In the end, this kind of love is probably more valuable than the self-glorifying, big-idea, propose-while-skydiving, rent-a-limo, one-up-this, post-it-on-Facebook kind of love.
I know there’s a lot more everyday need.
All things added up, the everyday love that we give yields a lot more real-world results than a few big idea fireworks. Just imagine a world where no one took out the garbage.
Kindness happens one person at a time. It doesn’t trend, make headlines or stadium kiss cams. It’s more powerful than that.
Persistence is the most powerful tool available to mankind. Persistent love is the best application of it.
It adds up every day like God’s version of compound interest. How does that work? Like this.
I can’t change the world in a day. But I can change the world everyday. I just can’t change it very much.
So, the thing that matters the most is not the thing I do today; it’s the thing I do everyday, consistently. All I have to do is do it again.
First = Last
On the big list of world changers my name would probably be close to the bottom. Few people know who I am. I have an average number of friends. I haven’t invented anything amazing. I haven’t discovered any breakthroughs. I don’t have a billion dollars to give away.
But I have as much love as anybody. And I have today. Fortunately, in God’s economy cash is not king. Instead, love reigns supreme.
Added up over a lifetime, that’s the investment that counts that most; it’s what matters.
That’s why I smile at my little terrier barking at my neighbor’s mastiff. It looks comical, like she’s taking on too much, but she’s not.
Her method is my example when facing big, scary problems. She knows fear is not an option. She knows it’s not the dog who barks loudest that matters, but the one that barks longest. She knows that silence never wins; persistence does.
Truth needs a voice.
It’s been two days since Daisy’s foot was hurt. She’s curled up on the love seat, not because she’s hurting, but because the mastiff is banished back inside his house.
She pulled off the boot and bandage the next morning. I re-bandaged for one more night. She’s not the only stubborn one.
Now she’s running around like nothing happened. Time for me to get back to work.
The world won’t change itself . . .