do what matters

June 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm 2 comments

soooo….yesterday? not so much.

{spoiler alert: this is a serious post. it might make you sad, but don’t worry, it has redeeming qualities.}

yesterday after work, i headed to the dog park with two happy dogs in tow, oblivious as to what was about to happen. i didn’t know that when i got there i would find a woman sitting by the side of the road. i didn’t know that she would be petting an injured {stray} dog that had just been hit by a car. i didn’t know that i would be sitting there with her, petting the dog until it passed.

{due to our separate circumstances, neither one of us could take the dog to the vet. we both had dogs at the park, small cars, and limited funds, so we sat there together on the sidewalk, waiting for animal control, desperately hoping they would get there in time to euthanize the poor thing. the physical injuries weren’t beyond repair, but the poor guy clearly had head trauma; my years working at a vet’s told me that much. as he lay there struggling to breathe and then finally stopped, it was enough to know that he was not alone and neither were we. cars, pedestrians, and cyclists went by, but we stayed there–much to the confusion of the two police officers who had stopped–until the animal control officer came and unceremoniously took the body.}

why am i telling you all this? why am i ruining your perfectly good thursday?! ahh, for that i really am sorry, but i needed to talk about this. not just about what happened, which was terrible, but why i chose to sit there when i could just as easily have walked away. in fact, i need you to know why i actually ran towards a perfect stranger and an injured stray dog.

i ran over there because i thought i could help. i ran so that other stranger wouldn’t have to deal with it alone. i stayed because it’s what i would want a stranger to do if it had been my dog. {and omigosh i wanted to run away.} i stayed because all i could offer was comfort. it didn’t matter to me that the police officers thought i was strange. or that no one else came to join our cause. i did it because it was important. i did it because it was good. i did it because it was the right thing to do.

and–as promised–here’s the redeeming part, taken from the you are not special graduation speech by david mccullough, jr {which if you haven’t seen, you really, really should. or read the text here}:

“do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance…Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it….And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself.”

{this may sound a little funny coming from someone who makes jewelry, but i’ve tried having a job where i wore my heart on my sleeve and after it wore me down, it wore me out. i try to make a difference where i can–even though it’s not my nine to five–and i firmly believe that you have that power, too, no matter what you get paid to do.}

p.s.: i also highly recommend watching temple grandin’s call to get back to “doing real stuff”, aka stuff that matters, delivered as a commencement address. {her speech starts at two minutes, or you can read the text here.}

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you’re invited! follow your heart

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rainy  |  July 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    You’re awesome and I’m so glad to have met you.

    Reply
    • 2. Amy  |  July 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      thanks rain! same here: happy to get to work by your side.

      Reply

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