I doubt a day goes by that we don’t experience some statement or command given us by someone in our lives.
Seriously, can you think of one day where you got the chance to do exactly what you wanted, and no one suggested or told you to do something else?
I think it would be pretty rare for this to happen.
And if this is true for humans, imagine how much truer it is for animals.
Have you ever watched one of the shows on TV where they spend time training a rescue dog, getting it ready to become a member of a new family? Well, if so, you’ve probably heard there are seven basic commands; sit, down, stay, come, heel, off and no.
According to some trainers there are a lot more and in one case I saw twenty-one commands noted. Wow, tough to be a dog.
One of my favorites is, “leave it”. It’s mostly used on walks to keep the dog’s attention focused on moving forward and not becoming distracted. This can be especially difficult with young dogs or those with active imaginations (curiosity), the ones who are all over the place.
My childhood dog was like this. We’d go for a walk which I thought might take thirty minutes, only to spend twice that amount of time snooping around the neighborhood. I wished I’d known the command, “leave it” back then.
Recently I watched several dogs and their humans walking by our house and noticed that some of them moved in a straight line, while others wove back and forth, with the dogs clearly in charge.
It made me wonder about how the humans acted when they were by themselves. Did they wander about or make beelines directly where they were going?
I’m not suggesting there is any right or wrong pathway to travel, merely observing the choices they were making, and it got me to wondering about what decisions I make.
Am I often distracted and easily put off my path? Could I benefit from saying to myself, “leave it”, putting a little oomph in the verbal command?
I know that it can be challenging to try to set things aside and focus on the main mission. I also know that I learn a lot by wandering aimlessly as long as I keep my eyes open.
If you thought about it, when would you tell yourself to “leave it”?
Are there certain things that you know don’t benefit you, but you do them anyway? If so, do you have any idea why? I often don’t unless I take a moment to consider them.
As you’ve noticed by now, I ask a lot of questions. I find it’s one of the most effective ways to grow. The questions challenge me to rethink some of my decisions and force me to reconsider some of my actions.
Using the idea of “leave it”, provides me an opportunity to consider things in my life which may not be good for me, like another piece of blueberry pie, or watching a violent TV show before bedtime or criticizing someone’s actions without understanding anything about them or the situation they’re in.
Given a little time, I am able to create quite a list of things to consider “leaving” and maybe you can too.
I think I’ll keep this command in mind for a while and see what happens and where it takes me.