Recently I went for my morning walk on a blustery, rainy day. As I was walking along, struggling with my umbrella in the gusts and grumbling about the cold, crummy weather, I saw a raincoat-clad woman with a dog. The woman also looked peevish about the rain and wind.
The dog, however, was undisturbed. It clearly recognized that, as a four-legged creature without clothes, rain slickers, or opposable thumbs capable of gripping an umbrella handle who was subject to the walking schedule and whims of its human companion, there really wasn’t much it could do about being out in the rain and the wind at that moment. It obviously needed to get out, walk, and answer the call of nature. And so, it just went about its business, as usual, without concern about the fact that it was getting soaked.
I was struck by the dog’s placid expression and its contrast with the stormy looks on my face and the face of the dog’s owner. There were no snarls or bared teeth — by the dog, at least. The dog, who was powerless to do anything about its situation, was imperturbable, while the humans who had total control were letting the bad weather bother them.
It was a very zen-like moment, and it made me realize that, in the right situations, there is value in following the dog’s example: don’t worry about what you can’t change, accept your circumstances, go about your business, and when you get back to that safe, dry, warm place . . . shake it all off.