Sorry for the hiatus but I have been working hard, building a program. Here is a story that flew into my life by surprise. Hope you enjoy, learn something from it and share.
I have an old black leather jacket that I got from my grandfather. The problem with the jacket is that it looks like other old men's leather jacket. I don't know what it is about black leather jackets but old men seem to flock to stores and buy them.
One day I stopped over one of my elder's house to chill, I wasn't looking for any wisdom just stopping to talk and have a few drinks, but wisdom always seems to find me at these times.
It was time to go, and I grabbed what I thought was my jacket and went to my car. When I got outside in the blistering cold and began rummaging through the pockets for my keys all I found was an old plastic bag. You know the kind I mean. The kind you get from the grocery store. I began to laugh and walked back in the house, but my elder had already fell asleep, so it took at least 15 minutes before he woke up and came to the door cussing and fussing about how dumb I was to walk out with the wrong coat. Before I left he offered me another drink. We sat down and laughed about my stupidity and sipped on some top shelf.
While he laughed at me I made a joke about the plastic bag. He stopped laughing and began to tell me the story behind the plastic bag in his pocket.
He told me that he had a dog for almost 20 years and this dog was his best friend and even more importantly one of the most important teachers that he had been blessed with.
He said that he used to take his dog for a walk twice a day and made it a habit to keep the plastic grocery bag in his pocket to clean up his dog shit while they were on the walks.
He began to laugh and said that it seemed like his dog seemed to always pick to shit in someone else yard. He shared that he felt responsible to not leave his dog shit in peoples yard, so he was constantly bending over to clean up after his trusty companion.
Then he looked at me and said here is the lesson. After his dog passed away he continued to keep a plastic bag in his coat to remind him of 3 things:
1. To remind him of his friend that passed away. He said that his dog reminded him how hard it was to find a true friend. He said that his relationship with his dog taught him about the cycle of true friendship. He cleaned up after his dog, fed him and walked him. While his dog showed him unconditional love, and protected his house. He said the plastic bag reminded him that friendship is about serving and being served. The cycle had to be constantly enforced by more service from all parties involved.
2. That the plastic bags reminded him of the blessing that he had received throughout the years. His dog had been with him in his hardest time and he always had plastic bags to clean up after him. He said that when he looked at the fact that he only got the plastic bags when he went grocery shopping meant that he constantly had food to eat and the plastic bag were a symbol that reminded him that no matter how hard times got he always seemed able to eat, and this helped him to stay humble, thankful and grateful to his ancestors and the Creator for the blessings.
3. he said that the third lesson was the most important. He realized that like his dog he often metaphorically shit in peoples yard. He describe this as snapping at people, having a bad attitude, depressed, and array of other feelings that tended to flow from what he called his internal dog. He stated that he felt that it was his responsibility to clean up the shit that he left in others (friends, relatives, and sometimes strangers) yards in his day to day life.
I asked him what he meant when he spoke of other's yards, and he describe the yard as a symbol for others lives. He said like dogs we often shit in other's lives and it was our responsibility to clean it up. In these instances the plastic bag would be an apology, a good deed, an act of charity or etc..
As the night turned to early morning it was time for me to try to leave again, because my elder was dozing off on me. He walked me to the door to let me out, and as I turned to get my farewell hug he handed me a plastic bag. Then laughing he stated take this to remember to clean up the shit that your inner dog may leave in someone's yard. Laughing I thanked him and left leaving him to get some rest, and for me to begin my long drive home.
HipHop Philosopha & Shaman