I had to take the subway about 5 days ago. Something I haven't done in a long time. And while I appreciate all that public transit brings to a big city, I don't miss it. The crowded standing-room-only space, grasping on to germ-infested handles that dangle from the ceiling. We sway back and forth to the motion of rocket on the tracks and we have no choice but to all stare directly at each other. We assume each others life story and we judge.
I work really hard not to judge people, it's been a conscious effort ever since I read one of Deepak Chopra's books about 8 years ago (before he ever became the zen-guru that he is today). We all do it. We look and in an instant, we judge.
When I got off at my stop, just outside the turn stalls, standing in the narrow, tiled hallway there was a young man. He was (I assumed) homeless, playing his harmonica for big bucks. And next to him: his dog. In an instant it pissed me off. I felt angry at him; empathic for the dog. I thought, Christ if you struggle to feed yourself how the hell are you going to feed that poor dog. I was pissed and it effected me in a very real way. As I made my way out on to the street I realized that I judged his situation in a instant. But something made me think about what Dawson brings to my life. And I was sure it was the exact same thing that dog brings to his owner. And I can only hope that the young man gives the same thing back to his dog. Real, pure love and companionship. Then I thought, while it may not be fair to Daws, if I lost everything in my life - I know one thing for sure, I would want her by my side.
Unconditional love is priceless. It beats all things material.
I'd like to thank that broken man and his shaggy best friend for reminding me of that this week.