a few minutes ago
We are surveying our domain, mom! Why must you always interrupt our most important business?
I was recently surprised by Puppy's and Jammy Dodger's DNA tests, and I've realized how easy it is to become attached to a certain identity. You might take pride in your Italian heritage or your Scottish roots. You might be proud of the hard road taken by your ancestors, whether they survived slavery or were a member of a First Nation or explored the world as a pioneer. We each tell a mythological story about ourselves based on where we come from, and these stories can give us a sense of purpose and belonging. But when we get so attached to these myths that we feel superior to someone with another heritage, we end up divided along lines that are arbitrary and often imaginary. If we could be DNA tested the way our dogs are, we would probably find that we are far more interconnected than we once thought. The racial, national, and gendered lines we draw are mostly fictional. For 12 years I believed that Puppy was a Lhasa Apso - a Tibetan monestary guard dog, one of the most ancient breeds on the planet. For 6 years I believed that Jammy Dodger was a super-mutt, whose specific ancestry was impossible to delineate. I was wrong on both counts! Now I am telling new stories about them, but they haven't changed a bit! Only my ideas of them have evolved. The stories we tell are so incredibly important because they color the way we see the world. If we started telling stories about how connected we are, rather than how divided, we might find ourselves living a friendlier, more loving, and more generous world than we did before. Namaste, my friends.
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