In Florida they race dogs. What I’ve discovered about how they get these dogs to run so consistently and so fast is that they starve them and then put out in front of them, a rabbit. And they chase the rabbit around the track. The amazing thing is that if any dog ever catches the rabbit in the pursuit of it he’ll never race again. They’ll have to retire him, sell him or put him down.
I see an awful lot of people around me who are chasing rabbits that they can catch; like the rabbits of status, or trophies, or toys that cost a lot of money and come with payments; maybe power and control, the status rabbit of choice. So the question is this: is life simply the art of chasing rabbits we can catch, buying things, consuming things, making life all about me? Or is there something bigger, better, and bolder about the way life should be lived?
Take the tragedy in Haiti. It is human suffering beyond estimation and imagination. We see it on TV. Most of us will never go there or engage it face to face. So what do we do? We do about this what we do about almost everything else in our life. We throw money at it. We think that money, organizations and strategies are the key to everything. And while these are important, it falls way short.
You are put on this planet to care about more than yourself, to serve a higher, more noble purpose. The very best way to respond to Haiti is to embrace the suffering. To respond to Haiti and embrace the suffering there is to embrace the suffering around you here.
But what does that look like, to embrace the suffering around you here? It looks like what happens when people see things the way they shouldn’t be and decide to make them as they ought to be. We start businesses, companies, and services. Some people call it Capitalism. Other people call it serving others.
The day you wake up and realize that it’s not all about you and start serving a higher, more noble purpose is the day you break free from all the petty, little grievances and worries that have kept you from being fully human, fully engaged, and fully alive.
What are the rabbits in life that you are chasing? They were here before you got here, and will be here after you’re gone, but you’re making a difference. What are the goals, what are the problems, what are the issues you’re willing to make your own and then pour your heart, mind and soul into, to make a difference?