Like most of you, I imagine, I read “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London years ago. I remembered the short book to be about a sweet dog who returned to the wild and lived happily ever after. This week, while riding the Beast, a.k.a. my Cardio Strider, I decided to listen to the audible version of the book. How could I have forgotten the cruel abuse this dog endured?
Buck was a one hundred and forty-pound St. Bernard and Scotch Collie mix who lived on a nice estate in California. A worker there stole the dog away from his owners who loved him and sold him to be used as a dog to pull sleighs in Alaska. Buck knew nothing about what was expected of him but he finally learned through many beatings by multiple owners. He eventually ended up in the Yukon area of Canada where the Klondike gold rush was taking place.
Again Buck learned cruel lessons from both the dogs he was forced to work with and from various men who owned him for a time. Finally, mercifully, he was rescued by John Thornton, an experienced frontiersman, who had a heart and a fierce love for Buck. They traveled the frozen country-side for a few years until Thornton was murdered by Native Americans. Buck was furious and savagely attacked the people until many of the Yeehat tribe were dead. Buck then followed his primordial instinct which had been calling him for some time, and he joined a wolf pack to live out his life in the wilderness and his wolf heritage.
The author, Jack London, published this animal fiction tale in 1903. He realistically gave this magnificent dog human traits and thoughts that were easy to accept as authentic. “The Call of the Wild” has been adapted into over one dozen films and remains an all-time favorite.
This title will sound familiar to fans of Oprah Winfrey. I admire Oprah, but have not followed her closely over the past several years, so when one of our readers suggested this topic, I admit that I had to do a little research. Cindi, a loyal follower of Crooked Creek, has added valuable feedback and encouragement, so I knew that I should take her suggestion seriously.
A book of things I know for sure would be a very short one, but I will attempt to come up with my top twenty. Rest assured, I do not consider myself anything like this famous and successful woman known the world over, but I do believe that this is a subject worthy our consideration, yours and mine. As we explore together, please share with us what you know for sure.
More Gray than I Realized
When I was much younger there were so many things I was sure were true. As someone has said, “Often wrong, but never in doubt.” That was me. Either black or white! I knew things. Things I had been taught, things I read in the Bible, things I felt in my bones. Looking back I can see how that was not only naive, but arrogant. Education, both formal and day-to-day experiences, prove repeatedly how little I know for sure. Some of my strongest opinions have bitten the dust, because they were just that, opinions.
I remember taking a required philosophy course at The University of Louisville back in the 1970s and experiencing a major revelation during the first days. The professor, speaking from his wheel-chair, in front of about fifty students would present topic after topic from various angles. About the time I became convinced of one of his assertions he would quietly say, “But on the other hand” and then convince me of just the opposite. It wasn’t that I was easy, it was that he was good. After a few weeks of exposure to his fairness and uncomplicated brilliance I clearly saw how little I knew for sure. This does not mean that we do not have things we believe and believe in, but to me at least, it does mean that most subjects and opinions can be debated and looked at from other points of view. Our real truths will not be diluted by serious scrutiny, but we may be able to better understand another’s position.
What I Know for Sure
The fact that I have a blog and that I like to share my thoughts and experiences must mean that I think I know something, right? No doubt it comes across that way and those who know me personally will quickly add that I am opinionated. So there, I’ve outed myself before anyone else has the chance. Before we go out too far on a serious path like Oprah though, I want to say that some of the things I know for sure are not earth shattering, but trivial. I’m going to share them anyway. Feel free to do the same. Collectively, I am sure we know many things, big and small. I’m going to start with the number one thing I know for sure and see how far we get today after that.
There are few things of which I am 100% sure, but one of those certainties is the fact that I love my family with all my heart. My guess is that you love yours in that way, too. Many, if not most, things change over our lifetimes. This has not.
Having time alone is a necessity for me, but I sometimes forget how much I need to be with people. There are those who renew their energy by being with people, by talking and laughing and playing games. Those folks would simply dry up if they had to be alone for long. Others of us need time of quiet and calm at regular intervals or we become anxious and distracted. There are tests that show which type of person we are and each is labeled as some type of introvert or extrovert, but we don’t really need a Myers-Briggs or other personality test to know our personal requirements. Still, if interested here is one of those quizzes to reveal more than you probably want to know: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
Native Americans should not be called Indians. Columbus was mistaken. He did not land in India. If Native Americans want to use the term “Indian” they have that right, we do not. Why do we even celebrate Columbus Day? After all the suffering of this country’s indigenous people perhaps we should have a “First Peoples Day” instead.
Dish towels and dish cloths should not be laundered with bath towels, underwear or other laundry. Please don’t ask me to explain.
This is where I need to leave it for today. Perhaps I should apologize, because I have been thinking of this post for weeks and weeks and this is as far as I’ve gotten. These are the few things I know for sure as of today. I’m thinking as hard as I can and I know there are others to add to this list, I’m just not sure of them yet.
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.