In ancient times, lessons were taught via stories told around the campfires at the end of the day. The wise elders would tell and retell fables that turned into modern stories such as “the Hare and the Tortoise” where the moral of “slow and steady wins the race” is taught to children (an adults) through animal characters.
When my kids were little, these kinds of stories were in books. Today, I hear of parents who use iPods with stories on them to “read” to their kids. (And I thought the audio cassette with Chicken Little was cool1?!)
Is it fair to say that the stories of future will be passed on through the internet through things like YouTube? I saw this video this week and it made me ponder, Why Did the Dog Cross the Road?
When you watch this video, you see a dog; I will call him Barley, stepping out into a busy multilane freeway in Chile. Why did the dog cross the road? It was rush hour and cars and trucks were zooming by at high speeds. Why in the world would this dog attempt to cross the road?
If you were able to see the video, you know that Barley is hit by a car. His still body lies lifeless on the dotted line separating two of the lanes as cars and trucks race by avoiding hitting him again. Why?
Why did Barley cross the road that day? Was he just being stupid? Did his mommy dog not teach him about the dangers of this world? Did he see too many movies of dangerous stunts and was Barley just trying to defy the odds and gain a moment of fame in the process?
Or, was Barley trying to get to his kids and was not going to let anything stop him, no matter the danger involved? We all know that as parents, we would do ANYTHING for our kids, especially if they were in some kind of trouble.
Or, was Barley giving up that day. Did the economic times leave Barley feeling like there was not hope, that life was just too hard and the world would be better off without him? Was he cold and tired and just giving up as he stepped onto that crowded busy freeway?
But wait; out of the corner of the screen, you see something moving. Out of nowhere you see another dog, who I will call Chip, running into the road as well. He is dogging cars, but he is moving with sheer determination to the spot where Barley is laying lifeless.
Chip wraps his paws around Barley. Do these dogs know each other? Why would Chip put his life in danger like this?
Chip then begins to drag the injured Barley slowly, inch by inch to the center island area of the road. It seems the traffic in that lane is surprisingly sparse for just a minute as Chips drags Barley, slowly across the pavement which could, at any moment, be filled with a speeding Semi truck. Any cars that do approach them, however, see something and although they are not sure what they are witnessing exactly, they notice them and steer around them.
Just as Chip has Barley to the concrete barrier in the center of this freeway, two construction workers see the dogs and come running to their aid, diverting traffic out of the far lane.
Barley lives. He gets the medical attention he needs and although still recovering and is not conscious yet, he will survive. But where is Chip? We don’t know. Chip took off after seeing Barley to safety.
Why did Chip cross the road? Did he know Barley? Was he trying to save his friend? If that is the case, why didn’t he stick around? If he did not know Barley, why would he put himself in danger? Why did the dog cross the road?
Like Chip, we see others who have gotten themselves into a tough situation. Maybe they were being stupid, yes. Maybe they did not heed warnings and found themselves in a rough patch, maybe even a life threatening situation. Sometimes it can be dangerous to help others. But sometimes, like Chip, we just see someone in trouble and know we need to do the right thing.
Now, I am not telling you to go out and get yourself killed. If we are not somewhat careful, we will never be any help to anyone. But are you willing to step out and help someone who really needs it, even if it is dangerous? How many times do we not help others because just because we are afraid it will make us look stupid? Do you think Chip was thinking about how stupid he looked?
Do you think Chip cared about how “busy” he was at the time? Do you think he even wondered if he really had the time to help this other dog? Probably not.
Sometimes we don’t help others because we think there are others who are more qualified to help. What if Chip left Barley to others who were more qualified to move him out of the busy freeway? Do you think he would have made it that long?
The moral of this story: Sometimes, no matter how busy we think we are or how unqualified we think we are or how dangerous we think something might be, sometimes, we just need to do the right thing.