Dogs & Pork Chops…

<July 2007>

There’s an old Aesop fable about a dog – & a pork chop – that I think lots of us might do well to remind ourselves of from time to time.

It goes like this: A dog is standing at the side of a river with a pork chop in his mouth. He looks into the water & sees there a dog with a pork chop in its mouth.

(Of course, it’s only the dog’s own reflection he is seeing, but he mistakes it for another dog.)

He badly wants that other dog’s pork chop, so he drops his own in order to grab the other dog’s. Of course, in doing so, he loses his own.

At the start, he had a pork chop. Soon, he has nothing.

I think an awful lot of us on Planet Earth live our lives in much this fashion.

We never seem to feel as though we have enough. There is always someone we are envying – comparing ourselves to – something more we want. And instead of being grateful for what we already have, we’re all caught up in a mindset that is mostly about our losses & our lacks.

Many of us envy & wish we could emulate “movie stars” – many of whom would very likely shock the heck out of us with their vast personal insecurities & mixed-up relationships. What many of them role model for us is a complete inability to absorb the meaning of the concept “enough.” In spite of already vast fortunes, many of them are always chasing more, more, more.

Are these really the sort of individuals to whom we should be looking up?

Can we ever really make ourselves happy, trying so hard to be “like everyone else” & obsessing endlessly over “looking good?”

Why not get quiet & get to know ourselves from the inside out, figure out what we really want, & who we fundamentally really are? What we burn to do, & to be – not what to have.

We’re all part of a tribe – Homo Sapiens sapiens. The tribe has been laying waste to our only home – this stunning, beautiful Earth. Our endless wants & greed are doing us in.

Is it possible to step off this ridiculous treadmill?

In a word, yes. We can’t make anyone else get off it – but we can climb down off it ourselves.

It’s not all that much fun being the dog that’s always dropping that darn old pork chop anyway, now, is it?


P.S. A regular practice of actively cultivating gratitude pretty much does in the dog & pork chop syndrome. Been there, & it worked for me!! Lots of posts about gratitude here