The woman and the dog

My father and I met a woman customer at the local post office, back when we were still living in Munich.

She had a dog with her, and was berating the dog. I remember it ducking away in pain and looking up with it’s sad dog eyes.

It was a German shepherd. Maybe it had made a mistake, it hadn’t done precisely what the woman wanted.

German shepherd dog, Wannes De Mol / Unsplash

My father asked her: “Why are you treating the dog this way?”

She said (in pain herself): “For 30 years, my boss was berating me. Now the dog has to listen and do what I want.”

This little story stuck in my mind, and came up today again. It’s a reminder that treating other people badly, harshly, will have repercussions on other living beings.

It’s like a stone which is thrown into a pond and draws circles (which flatten out a little, but go out much further than the original impact area of the stone).

Especially with sensitive people, like this woman, they will take bad behavior to their hearts.

Another thing about this story:

The woman said “30 years”. She stuck with this bad boss, who was mistreating her – she allowed this to go on for 30 years, instead of getting out of the situation and finding a new job.

The only way bullies can do their bullying is if you let them, if you show up.

Here’s to freedom, freedom we grant to ourselves.

Freedom to walk away from what hurts us.

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