Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

On Neighborly Physics September 9, 2013

We all have at least one in our lives. One character we wish we had never met. One friend gone bad. One neighbor we can’t stand.

For me, it’s Demon Dog in the backyard behind mine. He scares me, irritates my people, and I fear for the threat he could be to the safety of my future little person.

For my newest dog park pal Tucker, it’s the neighbor man who lives next door to his forever home. He sounds like an angry person always carries a strong chemical smell I’ve come to recognize as alcohol on his breath. I didn’t say anything, but (at least from what I hear) he sounds like the man with the leather belt I once knew. I shudder to think of Tucker being exposed to such things. And Tucker shudders to think of the influence this man could have on the little people he oversees.

Since being at my forever home, I don’t think I’ve come across too many proverbial bad seeds. But I’m also not sure what the best course of action is when we cross paths with these sorts of characters on our journey through life. Every situation is different, but I think what brings each one together is a commonality of understanding. Ultimately we all have at least one of these people in our lives.Love thy neighbor

But how lucky we are to have this be the exception rather than the rule. I was reminded of this recently when I finally got to offer my condolences (in the form of some kisses and cuddles) to the next-door neighbor whose husband went to heaven a couple months ago. I can tell she is still very sad, but I think my love helped (at least a little) to bring a little sunshine into her day.

Mom talked to her too, about how she’s doing and life in general. Mom told Mary (that’s her name) about the baby and how she’s been struggling to stay active during pregnancy. What happened next surprised us both. Mary said my mom is welcome to use her pool as often as she’d like, at least until she drains and covers it for the winter.

It might sound like a small thing, but to my mom it was a pretty big deal. Ever since her knee surgery last November she’s wanted to get back into swimming. But something (I think it was fear) was holding her back. She used to swim competitively (a concept I’ll never understand – why would you intentionally spend all that time in the water?) and was afraid of how out of shape she’d be when she picked it up again. It turns out it wasn’t that bad at all, and she’s been going swimming a few times a week ever since.

We all have a few of them in our lives. A character we are so glad we met. A friend who will do anything for us. A neighbor who makes a difference. With all this good in our lives, what power is there in the bad? It reminds me of the scientific belief of English physicist Sir Isaac Newton. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” he theorized.

I think there’s all kinds of ways we can choose to approach the negative people in our lives. I avoid Demon Dog at all costs. And I know Tucker will do whatever he can to protect his little people from the awful neighbor man. But all this thinking about neighbors served as a reminder that the negative influences are the exception not the rule. If anything, they make us appreciate the positive people in our lives that much more.


26 Responses to “On Neighborly Physics”

  1. […] On Neighborly Physics | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  2. Wiley, you sound like my Chihuahua, Pierre. He doesn’t like water, either. πŸ™‚

  3. kiwiskan Says:

    I must be so lucky. We have great neighbours – and soon we’ll have an old dog to look after as well. A nephew is having to shift and can’t take his dog. It’ll be nice to have one about the house again

  4. angloswiss Says:

    The problems of a canine life. My cats sympathise, they had an enemy cat living next door, although all felines seem to be enemies. Anyhow she has moved out with the people she owned and now we have a nice neighbour. Our felines have taken over her garden next door as well, but she does not mind, just an extension of territorial values I suppose. Funny on the other side we have an anti feline, anti animal person. She leaves our felines alone, but our felines do not bother to pay a visit. Somehow animals sense who is for and who is an against their presence.

    • I think you’re absolutely right about us animals possessing the ability to sense when people like us or not. It’s to do with our hypersensitive noses that (at least in my opinion) are connected to our larger-than-life hearts. πŸ™‚
      Lots of love to you and the felines,

  5. […] On Neighborly Physics | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  6. It’s definitely a good balance to have some good people in our lives to counteract the bad ones. There will ALWAYS be some bad ones. Plus, my mom is going swimming TODAY for the first time in ages – also because of her knee surgery. The doctor told her it would make her knee even stronger. Both our moms will soon be as strong as lions!

    Love and licks,

  7. […] On Neighborly Physics | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  8. […] On Neighborly Physics | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  9. writetowag Says:

    So wish you were our neighbor!!!! You and Trev together would be just too cute for words!!!!

  10. huntmode Says:

    I have been blessed to always have good neighbors – maybe it is because I expect the best. So glad to hear you were able to give some love to the woman who lost her husband recently and that your Mom can resume swimming close to home – fantastic! I had a friend, Wyles, who, when she didn’t like someone, would pray that something good for them would necessitate them leaving the vicinity… It’s a thought, eh? HuntMode – oh, and it worked!

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