On Riding to Samara
Then and Now....

During the day, Ginger rests on one of her divans next to me in my office. While resting, she watches me teach online and write. She seems to enjoy my dissing Donald the Dumb and the chaos that he created in Washington. I mentioned to her that there are a countless number of leaks in Washington to which Ginger quipped, "There are so many leaks that Donald the Dumb's administration is leaking faster than the Titanic." I replied not to worry; he can fix everything, even the multitude of messes he is making. To which Ginger said, "Really."

However, after a long day for Ginger and me, we go for a late night long walk around the neighborhood. That has been our routine for much of our time together. We returned from our evening exercise and went to Ginger's boudoir and gave her a late-night treat. As she munched upon her beef flavored dog bone, we sat and talked for several moments about the events of the day. I know; it sounds like a strange behavior. Nonetheless, I do love her, and she is anxious to go over things that interested her. I consider Ginger an intelligent canine who is eager to share her thoughts.

However, Ginger wanted to discuss the movie, A Dog's Purpose, and how that affects people. "You know that dogs have fears just like people. In my precious lives, I have faced issues that often seemed unsurmountable."

I asked Ginger about how she dealt with fear both then and now while she munch on one of her bones.


"Well, it isn't easy. However, it is an obvious axiomatic fact that fear must be faced or else I would have been a captive of fear. A decade before you were born over seven decades ago, FDR spoke to America about facing the fears generated by the Great Depression. Your president said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

I told Ginger that every American, regardless of their age, knows that quote. It did address fear. Fear has a paralyzing effect upon people and apparently dogs also. Ginger continued by telling me a story about which I wasn't familiar.

"There is an ancient Persian parable about a servant of a rich merchant. They lived just outside of the town of Susa. The master sent his servant downtown for several errands early one morning. While the servant was winding his way through the crowded streets of Susa, he suddenly noticed Death amid the multitude. The servant thought that Death had gestured to him in a threatening manner when they saw each other. Consequently, the scared servant fled back to his merchant's home. Trembling in fear, the servant told his master that he saw Death. The servant saddled a horse and fled to Samara.


The servant riding to Samara

The servant rode off to that city far away from Susa in the hope of escaping from Death and Death's accomplice--Fear.


Death's accomplice--Fear

"In response to his servant's fearing the icy hands of Death, the merchant returned to the street of Susa and found Death. The merchant confronted Death about scaring his servant. Death replied that he didn't gesture threateningly to the servant. Then he added, 'It was I who was startled, for I, Death, had an appointment with your servant in Samara this evening. I was surprised to find him here in Susa.'"

I responded that his story was interesting, and I especially enjoyed the O. Henry twist at the end.

Ginger replied, "Fear is, in the final analysis, impotent except for the power that we mistakenly grant it. Fear causes us to ride madly to our own Samaras. If dogs and humans remain where they are and face fear squarely, both groups will find that we can take on fear and conquer it. Then, we will discover again that we have nothing to fear but fear itself."

With that, I told Ginger that I appreciated his Persian parable and how it applied to both dogs and people. I hugged Ginger, said good night, and wished her pleasant dreams.

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