I had a puppy once. Small and sweet and completely unstable on it’s own four legs. He was beautiful. And we all loved him so very much, obsessing over his every move. There was something about him that always made the atmosphere taste a little sweeter, catching any who might be near him in his grasp, turning even the toughest of men into soft whispers and cuddly arms.
It wasn’t long before the puppy grew up. He became loyal, strong, patient and kind. He became everything he had been brought up to be. No matter his size he was careful around children, protective and entertaining, and he was welcoming amongst adults, friendly and sweet. He was well-behaved, he was wise, he was happy. And he was my very best friend.
As he grew up, he taught me things. My once little golden puppy showed me what it meant to love unconditionally, morning through to night. He showed me that it was okay to fall down (the stairs) sometimes, as long as you never stop trying to climb back up. He showed me how to be patient with others when they were too busy to stop and how being alone every now and then wasn’t necessarily bad.
But most of all he taught me that innocence is born, pure and gold, in the hearts of every child. Because nobody is ever brought into the world full of hatred and anger, a dangerous path immediately carved into stone. Like a tiny puppy, all shaky legs and inexperience. They are yet to see what awaits them, yet to witness darkness and more than ready to fall into the light. Their innocence can lead them through the mountains and to the very top of the world, but temptation can push them over the edge. What happens next is entirely up to them and what they are yet to learn. Their path depends on the steps that they take.
But that is only a side-effect, that isn’t the lesson I learnt. Because he taught me that nobody is born ready to destroy the world. They have the potential to be loyal, to be patient, to be kind. Everybody was once a child, pure and innocent, ready to let the universe in. Hatred can be created, but it can also be extinguished. The moments that follow are all made by the beauty that lies within the beginning. And that itself is extraordinary, isn’t it? Every soul to ever exist has the potential to be spectacular.
Like a new born pup, eyes closed and hidden from fear, only deep breaths and adventures to follow. Full on love, surrounded by warmth, ready to change the world.
One paw-print at a time.