Saturday, April 5, 2008
Of Dogs and Men, Part Three
Almost every day, 'Drew and I encounter people who have so lost sight of morality that we understand (at the risk of being presumptuous) what Lord Byron meant when he wrote of Man that "when all is done upon the tomb is seen, not what he was but what he should have been."
We see it in our daily encounter with the GGNRA, with dog-haters in general, with the groups that parade as "environmentalists" when their agendas are otherwise, and in so many people and groups who only seem interested in ruining others.
Just yesterday, we were walking by St. Peter & Paul's in North Beach after some fun in Washington Square. A priest came out to greet us and gave us some pats on our big heads. Then he asked Dad, "have you read your Byron?" Dad paused and then responded, "are you asking me whether I am what I should be?" The priest smiled and we parted ways.
This is a question we should ask ourselves everyday, a guiding light, if you will, towards leading a proper life not just as a Gentle Giant, but more to Byron's point, as those who are human and who should, by definition, practice humanity. For in the end, we shall all confront the question of whether we were what we should have been.
Big Jack knew exactly who he was: he lived his life to the fullest; beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of Man without his vices. His moral compass was straight and fine-tuned.
Oh what a world it would be if people would begin their days by reciting those words.
Instead, what we find more and more are people who bring truth to why it was that Eugene O'Neill wrote that dogs are wiser than men.
"Dogs are wiser than men.
They do not set great store upon things.
They do not waste their days hoarding property.
They do not ruin their sleep worrying about how
to keep the objects they have
and to obtain the objects they have not.
There is nothing of value they have to bequeath
except their love and their faith."
'Drew and I try to live as did Jack.
As for the others, we can only hope and pray that they have "read their Byron".
(Karazan Giacomo (Jack) Poochini -- may the blessed Mary of the Angels wrap you in her cloak of peace.)