Long story short, I lost my dog’s collar, and yesterday, I went to Walmart to pick up a new one. I had purchased a really cute one from Amazon, but I had underestimated the tininess of my pup.
As I was checking out, the woman asked, “What kind of dog do you have?” A simple question, but my dog is a rescue and a mixed breed, so I showed her a pic. We laughed. She then told me about her dogs. She had grown up around big dogs, but then she met a little Shih Tzu and fell in love. She eventually had to have him euthanized at 18-years-old, a moment all pet owners dread. Her second dog had coronary failure and died in his sleep. She now has a 4-month-old puppy.
We talked about having dogs and not having children. We talked about grief. We talked about a lot of things.
A few minutes later, I was back in my car with a good feeling in my heart. It occurred to me that I had just connected with this woman with whom I probably have very little in common. But she had reached out. It very easily could have been a ten-second encounter of false pleasantries, but this woman took that moment of risk to look for commonalities.
She inspired me. I am going to look for those small signs of connection with others. I know it will be hard, and I know I will need to be vigilant. But I am making a vow to myself to try.
If we all can do that, imagine how hard it will be to judge. Imagine how much easier it will be to walk in other people’s shoes.