In the Way

Max always seems to find the one place where he will be most in the way. He especially employs this practice when I am cooking. My kitchen is pretty small so laying anywhere in there is more or less in the way, but he seems to find the exact spot where I need to stand.

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Similarly, Max often lays down right in front of the sink of my bathroom so that I either have to shoo him away or lean way over him when I need to brush my teeth.

And even when I am trying to let him out on my balcony, he just doesn’t seem to understand that I actually have to get past him to open the door. Instead of letting me through, he shuffles around always stepping right in front of me.

His getting in the way is frustrating and sometimes even dangerous. Yesterday I accidentally kicked him in the head because I did not know he had lain down behind me while I was cooking.

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But he’s not the only one to get in my way. I drive around a lot and there are countless drivers who get in my way. There are people who write things and do things that seem to me to be getting in the way of more important things.

It’s a busy world and everybody is just getting in each other’s way.

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But Max has taught me to take a step back from myself and try to better understand why others are in my way.

In doing so, I realize that Max has some decent reasons for laying and walking where he does. The kitchen and the bathroom both have cool tile, and he gets hot very easily. And I know that he is just very excited to go out and can’t understand the mechanics of opening the door. So, I can’t blame him for finding a cool place to lay or for being excited.

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Max has taught me to be more humble and to put myself in his and other people’s shoes (or paws). He has taught me that my plan and way of understanding the world is not the only one, nor probably the best or most comprehensible one.

He has taught me that maybe others aren’t just out to frustrate and annoy me. Maybe they have a good reason for thinking and acting as they do. And maybe I’m stumbling around in their way unknowingly too.

Max has taught me that sharing this world with others will involved some clashing and some getting in each other’s ways, but that instead of crashing together like two determined, unswerving drivers we can instead clang together like wind chimes, making more harmonious noises.

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I will probably still be frustrated when Max lays right in my way or when drivers keep me from making that turn I need to take, but Max has taught me to take a step out of my own limited perspective and try to understand how others are not necessarily intentionally in my way.

So, thank you Max for opening my eyes to consider why other people seem to be in my way, and for helping me learn that there are often good reasons. Thank you for trying my patience so that I may eventually grow to have a little more. And thank you for keeping me humble and open to the perspectives of others.

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