Big Dog, Small Dog

August 11, 2021 • Insights on Life

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I once observed a man walking a big Rottweiler dog on a sidewalk. As he passed along the fence of the front yard of a home, a small dog came running up from the front door of the home to the fence barking. 

This little furball threw its front paws on the chain-link fence that separated it from the Rottweiler and the man. The owner of the Rottweiler turned his head and looked down in the direction of the small dog to see what the commotion was all about. 

The Rottweiler, who looked like it just came back from the dog gym, did not turn its head. The little furball continued to bark and jump on the fence as it followed them all the way to the edge of the property. And during this entire time the Rottweiler never once turned to look at this irascible furball. 

Life is no different. 

The small dog always feels the need to make itself heard. Always. It’s the nature of small dogs. Similarly, the small man (and I don’t mean physically small) always feels the need to make himself heard. The small man is the immature man, the young soul.

I asked my guru once, over two decades ago, “How do you tell if someone is an old soul (mature soul) or a young soul (immature soul)?”

He responded, “By the way they respond to challenges in life.” In a trice, countless past experiences in my life flashed through my mind, resolved by the clarity of this insight. Enough said. There is no need to elucidate on this.   

The big dog doesn’t feel the need to make itself heard. It knows it is strong but it doesn’t need to show its strength to show its self-worth. It knows its bark is loud and its bite is indelible but it feels no need to demonstrate either to feel whole. Similarly, the mature soul is no different. 

Humility, the need to understand, the want to express empathy and compassion, the conscious choosing of words and the timeliness of uttering them…all these are signs of a mature soul. Surround yourself with these individuals. Let their example be teachers to you. 

Let the small dog bark. Pay no heed to it. Accept the fact that that is what small dogs do and when you can accept it, it no longer becomes a bother. A cat meows, a dog barks. It is how it is. Don’t expect otherwise.

The good thing about hearing a small dog bark is that you now know it is a small dog which then gives you the choice on how to interact with that small dog and the choice to decide if you want small dogs in your life. Small dogs are exhausting, energy-consuming, dramatic, complicated and more. 

To forge ahead and live your best life surround yourself with the right people, mature souls.

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