How to Put Yourself in Someone Else's ... Paws:
MY CHILDHOOD DOGS AND CATS were sources of endless entertainment. First I had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named "Dusty". Her favorite activities were puppy paddling in the lake, and digging for rocks. She was a wonderful companion.
Then we added two kittens on to our family. The cats did a LOT of things differently than the doggy. And I had a LOT of questions about pet care. Why can't the cats go outside on a leash? Why can't the dog use the litter box? Why aren't Dusty and the kitties getting along? I tried to organize several "matchmaking-meetups" for my pets based on what I thought would be common interests, like Deli-Meat-Picnics and Fur Grooming Makeovers!!! None of these forced pet setups were very successful though . . .
But after some time, Dusty and the kitties got used to one another. I even caught them cuddling and taking naps together when nobody was looking. I learned a lot about caring for others by caring for my pets. Now for the podcast, I was very eager to write a fun story about silly pets. So I looked to other beloved stories from past for some plot ideas.
Stories of characters switching places are tales as old as time. They continue to be told over and over. From “The Prince and the Pauper” to Lucy and Ricky “Job Switching” on I Love Lucy. What I like about these stories is that they are exercises in empathy. It has always been helpful for to me when dealing with conflict to imagine the other person's daily life. What are their struggles? Their challenges? Their intentions that inform their decisions and points of view? The adage "walk a mile in my shoes" endures for a reason and can be applied to so many situations, not only for adults but for kids too. Siblings, Partners, Co-Workers, heck even pets! Learning this lesson when we are young can help us to grow stronger in our relationship skills. I think it's a lesson that needs to be a priority in order to achieve success and happiness . . . and help us avoid fighting like cats and dogs!