In today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog, Jack used this quote – “Every man has three characters – that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.” (Alphonse Karr)
I have a feeling that if Karr was alive today he might enjoy adding to his thoughts about character with this modern quote by J.W. Stevens – “Be the person your dog thinks you are!”
We are all somewhat conscious of the character that we are trying to portray to the world. Most of the time we are trying to appear to be normal and maybe even “cool” (or what we think is cool). Very few people set out each day to be perceived by others as being a dork or a jerk or anything negative, yet many achieve those distinctions through their actions and behavior.
I think Stevens advice may be the best of all. I don’t think your dog starts off thinking about you based upon looks or color and any of the other preconceptions that we allow to creep into our evaluations of people. Instead your dog is trying to give you unconditional love and just wants your attention, care and love in return. Your dog misses you when you are gone and is happy when you return. He or she just wants to be accepted and welcomed into your “pack” and maybe be given an occasional treat and a pat on the head.
We can’t walk around patting others on the head and handing out treats, but we can greet them with a smile and a friendly hello. We can extend a hand, ask about their well-being and compliment them. In doing so, we become the person that they hoped they might meet today – someone friendly and open and interested in them. Hopefully, that will bring the character that you are exhibiting more in line with the character that you think you are. Few of us think of ourselves as cold, callous or unfriendly.
So set out today to be the person that your dog thinks you are and see if that doesn’t work for you. Start by putting a smile on your face and being conscious that you are smiling. Greet others when you meet them, rather than just looking away. Resolve to take the time to greet and speak to those whom you already know and to make the effort to meet some new people today. See if being perceived as a friendlier and welcoming person doesn’t make you feel better at the end of the day. Perhaps you will even find that your day was more successful, because more people felt good about meeting and interacting with you.
Be that person who makes someone else’s day and it will make your day, too. Maybe then you will be the person that God hoped you would be.