“The dog down there is on too short a chain. Change it, lengthen it. Then he’ll be able to reach the shade, and he’ll lie down and he’ll stop barking. And the silence will remind the mother she wanted a canary in a cage in the kitchen. And when the canary sings, she’ll do more ironing. And the father’s shoulders in a freshly ironed shirt will ache less when he goes to work. And so when he comes home he’ll sometimes joke, like he used to, with his teenage daughter. And the daughter will change her mind and decide, just this once, to bring her lover home one evening. And on another evening, the father will propose to the young man that they go fishing together… Who in the wide world knows? Just lengthen the chain.”
— A passage from Here is Where We Meet by John Berger
There’s no mystery to the message here. But there is significant mystery…
Do we have any idea how, and how much, we influence one another?
Do we really understand how everything is connected?
How small acts of kindness can result in major comforts and happiness?
Cause and effect, while often separated by time and by space, are most assuredly not separated from our experiences and our lives.
I love the sentiment here. And I believe it. Do you?
May you lengthen a dog’s chain today.
Imagine the effect.
Somebody, somewhere, will be grateful.
But they will not be able to even imagine the cause. It will be a mystery.
Who in the wide world knows?