January 25, 2006

Who Let the Dawgs Out?

Hatched by Dafydd

This post was actually hatched by Lee R. Porter.

You've seen me mention Lee before, and I might even have discussed his "Parable of the Chained Dog." He's one of my oldest friends, and I value his insight and input on most issues of the day. Except when he disagrees with me, in which case his ideas are completely weird and wrong.

Fortunately, this is a case where he agrees with me -- and is therefore absolutely correct. So without further dithering...

The Parable of the Chained Dog

It seems there was an old dog on a chain out in his owner's yard. Every day, all day long, the dog was kept on that chain.

Many of the people in the neighborhood knew why that dog was chained up: some time back, it had chased a kid down the street, knocked him down, and bit him. But because the mauling didn't seem severe, and because the dog's owner agreed not to let the dog run loose, neither the victim's family nor the community at large insisted that the dog be destroyed.

Time passed, and things changed in the neighborhood. The boy who had been bitten... well, his family moved away, and so did some other families. New neighbors moved into those houses.

As events tend to do, the biting incident receded in people's memories; and most of the folks who were new to the neighborhood never even heard about it in the first place. Within a couple of years after the victim's family had moved away, people who saw the poor, old dog on his chain began to feel sorry for him.

The owner started to get some complaints about his inhumane treatment of the animal. The owner tried to explain why the dog was chained up, but people told him sure, maybe the dog bit that kid; but after all, that was a long time ago, and it only happened once. Others wondered whether the kid had somehow incited the dog to attack him, and still others suggested -- in an accusatory way -- that the dog had probably been mistreated as a puppy.

A lot of the people doing the complaining didn't even live in that neighborhood, but eventually they got their way. The dog was taken off his chain.

We all know what happened next. That poor little girl; what a senseless tragedy. Why was it so difficult to remember the reason for the chain?

Why is it so hard, even impossible, for some people to understand?

© 2005 Lee R. Porter, all rights reserved

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 25, 2006, at the time of 12:07 AM

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The following hissed in response by: Eg

…and with that introduction, a Memri preview of the upcoming feature: ‘Mecca 06‘: Munich-Berlin Redux - Sans Beer’

The above hissed in response by: Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 25, 2006 1:45 AM

The following hissed in response by: Eg

Woops! Almost forgot the clip comes with the following: {Surgeon-General Advisory: Those with/without Irritable Bowel Syndrome may wish to keep toilet paper nearby.}

The above hissed in response by: Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 25, 2006 1:59 AM

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