Lost and found: dogs on the street, dragging leashes or running naked (no collar, no ID tags, no under-the-skin microchip). No way out unless they are somehow corralled by a caring person who steps outside of their box to be one of those quiet heroes we all seem to want to celebrate on Facebook which instantly creates a viral campaign that anonymous fingers busily tap into cyberspace; part of that sea of humanity that should be doing job-related tasks as they sit, chained to computers, or so they think, doing everything but their job. We play the politics of lost and found because we tell ourselves that we love our fur babies.
Dogs don’t have the corner on lost and found. But they make for good copy, don’t they?
Being lost and found is a state of mind that some of us never climb out of. We stay in that shallow, finger-pointing place of “Why didn’t you do this my way?” “Well, looks like you’ve failed already this morning….” If you want to peer into someone’s inner core, listen to the words they use, their tone of voice. If it’s this kind of verbal crap, it comes from a place of fear served up on a plate of ignorance.
My niece and I talked about leadership last night. She’s just been promoted and is finding out that language is key. If you want a work environment that fosters mutual respect and an all for one, one for all philosophy, everyone has to work on their inner core. She’s smart and compassionate and she’s old enough that she’s learned some things. She’ll work really hard to foster a sense of team because, as she said to me, “That’s what being a leader is all about.” She grew out of her own lost place into an admirable place of being found.
We talked about what it’s like to watch someone we love (who is doing the hard work of finding himself) come up against one of the lost people.
Lost and found. Sometimes it’s as simple as an open gate that a dog slips through, an accident that immediately plays out in Social Media drawing thousands of compassionate people to like, to share; to plead that we all come to the rescue. And we do. Because we love our fur babies. (Why can’t we love each other in this way, wanting someone else’s success more than we want our own?)
What amazes me is the simplicity of this equation. I think that this simplicity is why some of us are drawn to dogs. They may become physically lost but their sense of self is always straightforward. What you see is almost always what you get.
It’s not so easy when you switch out dogs and replace them with people. What if you don’t know that you’re one of the lost?
Some people never find themselves. If there’s no one to show them an alternate path, they will stay lost. Sometimes, those of us who have found ourselves become tangled in the ugliness of a lost person’s mess. The path we’re on gets muddied. It’s hard to know where to step because we feel like we’re up to our knees in bullshit. If we keep to what we know is true, if we focus on the things that we can control, it’s possible to ride out the storm, to come out on the other side of the rainbow.