I’ve only spent about a year in the colony I’m currently living in and I usually greet and meet people that I know personally or through my family. Apart from that, I didn’t usually greet anyone I passed by.
I used to walk alone everyday in my colony in the evening and I didn’t communicate with anyone I passed by with. They weren’t interested in me and I wasn’t keen in annoying their daily routine. I like greeting everyone but when I see that the person I greet didn’t acknowledge me, I feel so embarrassed and weird as if it’s my fault or I should’ve spoken louder. So in a way, I was quite isolated from a large percentage of my colony.
However, when I got a dog and I’d take her out for a walk everyday, so many people noticed and acknowledged me (actually my dog). Children would jump around us excitedly, nervously call my dog and then run away when my dog responded, children and adults nervously tried to pet the dog, asked her name, what she ate, when I got her, etc. Even if the questions were about my dog, I was the one communicating with them and answering their questions. As days went by, they asked about me and I asked about them. Hence, I got to meet and listen to different kinds of people which I love to do. I love hearing about other people’s lives and their experiences, which I would probably never have experienced if I walked alone since my dog is a people-magnet.
I also started greeting other people like regular walkers, people walking their dogs, guards, etc. I also removed whatever litter I could from the ground, so my connection with people as well as my environment increased.
One day, I passed by an old lady who stopped me to say that my dog has such an adorable face. She called her granddaughter who ran excitedly to pet her. After petting her, she looked at me with a huge smile telling me my dog is so cute. The fact that the old lady was afraid of the dog and yet, didn’t stand far from it and let her granddaughter pet it showed her beautiful personality. Just because she was afraid of being touched by a dog, perhaps due to being told so when she was younger, didn’t mean that she had to make anyone else be afraid of it.
A lot of people aren’t afraid of cats but they are taught or conditioned to be afraid of dogs so every time I walk my dog, many people move aside from it or tell me to move it aside. I get it if they have allergies but otherwise, they are amongst Allah’s beautiful creatures which do not possess a shred of evil in them. I’d rather avoid certain types of people than animals, no matter how vicious and scary they looked, because people in their fear of animals tend to due brutal things to them just because they fear or are disgusted by them. Animals are much more peaceful and sane, and they just run away when they fear someone. Thus, when I observed that old lady admiring my dog, I felt a wave of comfort and peace in my heart from knowing that there are people in this world who try their level best to be kind to animals. It’s an obvious act of kindness and love but whenever I see it, it always looks beautiful.
The next day, yesterday, she invited me to her house and we talked for quite a while and I genuinely had a fun time talking to her, learning about her and her family’s life. There is perhaps no better joy than communicating with lovely, sane people.
So to answer your question, yes. I derived all this when I took my dog out for a walk.
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My name is Andale Seaworne. I’m a regular 20 year old Muslim Pakistani girl navigating through life, sharing knowledge and opinion related to different topics in life from basic moral values with relevance to Islamic teachings to travelling, books, food, personal experiences, observations, interpretations and anything that comes to my mind (in a series of bubbles).