Posted on Friday, December 9, 2011
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values
The premise of the game “Three Truths and a Lie” is to stump your friends by making four statements that all seem to be true, but one is not. Yesterday while playing the with my friends, Cassandra, Xedric, Ash, Shafique, Fernando, and Nick I said, “I am ambidextrous. I have eight pairs of shoes. I have one pet. I have one sister.”
I have no pets, but I had no idea that each and every person would guess that “I have one pet” was the lie.
Ironically, that very day, my daughter Shannon posted a picture on Facebook of a squirrel outside our sliding glass door entitled, “Dad’s Pet.”
The squirrels eat our food when they want what’s available. They live on our property at their pleasure. They come and go as they please.
IMHO, they sound more like they are adult children than pets. =D
Take a look again at that picture. If you look carefully you’ll see four squirrels: one hanging from the block of seed, one on the “wheel of fun”, one in the foreground and another by the base of the tree.
This is a rare photo. It’s not often four adult squirrels — especially unrelated squirrels — are this close to one another.
For example, a squirrel might have been eating for an hour. By then it certainly has a stuffed tummy, but if another squirrel approached he would likely chase the other away. While the food is plentiful, the squirrels are often possessive.
There is plenty of food in the bin in the garage. When we run low we’ll buy more. There will be food for the squirrels all winter.
The squirrels don’t know that.
If “White Paws“, “Junior White Paws” and the rest of the neighboring squirrels knew that food would be plentiful they would not worry. Feeling safe in their prosperity they wouldn’t feel the need to act as territorial and contentious.
But, their perspective is limited.
The foolish squirrels are always fighting, but we can be the same way.
“Foolish people are always fighting“, wrote the author of Proverbs, “but avoiding quarrels will bring you honor.” 1
You and I can choose to become the wonderful neighbors that other people dream of.
Here are a dozen ideas I’m trying to implement in our neighborhood: 2
1) Share your time and your possessions.
2) Be friendly; but respect their space.
3) Avoid gossip. Watch what you say over the fence.
4) Be a good listener
5) Respect “quiet hours” (between 10 pm and 8 am). In most communities it’s the law, usually it’s just courteous.
6) Be positive and cheerful.
7) Provide meals when there is an illness, birth, death or crisis.
8) Watch their property when they aren’t home.
9) Volunteer to pick up mail, water plants, or feed pets when they are away.
10) Help out when they are working on a big project.
11) Remember them at Christmas.
12) Treat them as you would like to be treated.
1 – Proverbs 20:3, NCV
2 – Lists to Live By, Second Collection, pg 105 [with minor edits]