Tuesday, July 17, 2007

acting like animals

In the movie Ghostbusters, Dr. Peter Venkman gave warning on the coming apocalypse. He described it as: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria. ...


Is it so bad that dogs and cats should get along? What is it that makes their expected hostility acceptable? Is there an irreconcilable incompatibility based on tradition, breeding, or behavioral conditioning? Peer pressure, perhaps? Does their position in life determine a combative role? Is this something bigger than the individual cat or dog that cannot be circumvented? I refuse to accept that.


The Craver house has a dog AND a cat, and they don't have a problem dealing kindly with one another. In fact, they're more brotherly than some human brothers and sisters. Maybe more exemplary even than a lot of people.


[An aside: I just came across a coworker who is wearing a shirt that says, "I'm rad. You're rad. Let's hug." I immediately took evasive maneuvers, but it made me smile.]


Isn't community more noble than competition? Teamwork better than tearing apart? Sure, we have significant differences between us. Let's go ahead and work through those details, but as we have ideas worth sharing, can we process this through a filter of kindness, care, peacefulness, and dare I use the "L-word?" Yes, even Love.


Related links: Jesus Community: Finding God's Peace , Gojira's Stomping Ground: When to Speak Truth , Seedlings in Stone: Filtered
Image from The Chess House.


L.L. Barkat said...

That is an interesting question... whether competition has any place in community. Ultimately, we have to think through what teamwork really means, then.

Craver Vii said...

LL, I would put it this way: competition might have a part in community, but it wouldn't take preeminence over it.

Let me add that I am speaking these words as medicine to my own soul, as much as anything else.

But the thing that pushed me to get up on the soapbox was when I heard someone recently excuse his offensive talk by saying, "that's just how I am." Horsefeathers!! That's a cop-out.

Anonymous said...

i think it's easier for folks who have been raised with other folks to be tolerant, accepting others' differences, even embracing them. like the example of the dog and cat. i'm sure they have been raised with one another and eventually they become tolerant of each other.

but what about the christian community? there should not really be any sort of tolerance. we should just acknowledge the differences and embrace what God has given one another. i feel that the word "tolerant" is more of a cop-out word. Jesus never tolerated anyone, He acknowledged and He loved.

Craver Vii said...

I appreciate your comment. Now, I'm curious, homebound. When you think of tolerance, what comes to mind? And how is that different from acknowledging?

Martin Stickland said...


I hope this message saves because I have had some big posting problems!

I hope you are well my friend, this English Summer is rather wet at the moment!

Craver Vii said...

Oh Martin, I am so twisted. When I read, "I hope this message saves..." I said aloud, "No, my friend, Jesus saves." ;-)

So, what is an English summer usually like?

Ted M. Gossard said...

When I read this, I think of the grace we need from God. And I think alot of that is in reference to better understanding ourselves. Then we're not so hard on others.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a subject that is nottalked about enough. We are experts at competion. We raise our kids that way. But to have a sense of community and the skills to live together is a difficult thing. Lord help us!

Anonymous said...

I used to work for Enron *shock* and the hiring policy there was to hire conflicting personalities to inspire a competing environment.

Look what happened to them!

L.L. Barkat said...

Okay, I see. And it seems entirely possible to compete in healthy ways without being offensive. I agree that being offensive without sensitivity or an admission that maybe I need to change is not so great, not the way Christ would probably want me to be.

Lara said...

Maybe some dogs & cats get along because neither one is trying to be the other and neither one is trying to prove they're better than the other and both are happy to let the other be who they are.

Sounds like gobbledy-gook, but it made sense when I thought it.

Anonymous said...

my understanding is this -
to tolerate is to endure, to allow;
where acknowledge is to admit, or recognize.

Craver Vii said...

Doesn't it make a person feel better to enter a room where the tension of conflict is an exception, rather than the rule?

*laughing* (I say this as a coworker and I stick our tongues out at each other.)

Shammickite said...

Glad you mentioned Ghostbusters... now there's a team to be reckoned with.....

david mcmahon said...

G'day Craver,

Okay, so it's a clear case of ``reigning cats and dogs''.

Keep smiling



Hello Craver

Thank you for your comment on my photo blog.

Thank you for your very relevant questions. People who took part with costumes are in fact of the specialists in the average age. Their weapons, clothing are produced with more close to reality of the time. The shooting with the arc with the means of the time is really impressive.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

sounds to me like something I used to teach in youth group -

people always say, "now be nice - treat everyone like they were family, not like guests". I say, "treat them like they are honored guests".

In my experience, family members tend to show far less tolerance and grace to each other than to total strangers. Home is where everyone sees who you really are and you see who they are - the most self-focused, the most impatience of all behaviors is eveidenced behind the walls of a home.

Lee Shelton said...

As someone who owns two dogs and two cats, I can appreciate this post. But would there be room in my life for this cat? Probably not.

Craver Vii said...

Hey, Hopalong, you know what made the Ghostbusters a great team? It was the theme song. I'm convinced that I should have a them song developed for my department at work, too. ;-)

Nice, David. Very nice.

Oui, Laurent. I have never shot a longbow before, but someday, I would like to try it. I'm sure the demonstrations at your celebration were more proficient than me.

Susan, that is something I want to work on in my own home. We should behave in such a manner that other people would wish they lived in our house.

Funny video, Lee. (What a horrible sound, though.) Nice kitty... Right after watching that one, I saw a clip of a cat going #2 on a regular toilet.

lorenzothellama said...

The Llama household have a cat and dog too. The dog loves the cat and wants to play with him all the time. The cat is contemptuous of the dog but if he is in a good mood he will let her chase him and then he has a chase of her!

Surely the differences between people is that which makes them unique?

L.L. Barkat said...

Lorenzo... yes, it is interesting to consider that uniqueness is based on difference. I think we have some inner compass, though, on how different we allow others to be before they pass from uniqueness to Other, Outsider.

Craver Vii said...

When I read that, 'Renzo, my first thought was that our differences are those things that make us special, interesting, appreciated, and necessary.

But LL, that is an astute observation. Would Others/Outsiders be able to say of us that we followed the Golden Rule? It gets tricky when we start with an outside position on an issue that's important to us, then assign motives, and mix in a blend of righteous indignation and our very own attitudes as we dish out our brand of justice.

Cats and dogs are simpler, aren't they? We can be so... complicated.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

hah - lets go to mathematics - where are you Lynet? two standard deviations off the mean and you're out - of the solar system that is

and yet - some of my best friends would be considered out of others universes - much less solar systems - so perhaps if we overlap in enough (as in non-concentric circles - i.e. Venn diagrams) it will draw us all into relationship somehow with one-another - no matter how "far out there" we are.

Anonymous said...

Alas, I'm allergic to cats. Horribly.

I heard someone use the phrase coopetition once. I kind of like that idea. A loving, iron sharpening iron kind of community would be supportive but also very challenging.

I don't want people to let me off the hook--even in the name of Love!

Anonymous said...

Also. I've missed you, dude! Sorry I've been gone so long.

lorenzothellama said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog.
Does it actually matter how different people are? I feel that we instinctively know about ll's 'other, outsider'. I think it's that inner compass you talk about. Someone once said to me 'the spirit in you recognises the spirit in him' and I think this really summed it up, or have I gone completely off the point?

Poorly foot. I rushed to show my husband a very old book I found with the inscription 'Gertrude Mary Inward from her teacher 1896'. This was my grandmother who died just before I was born. In my haste I stubbed poor foot and broke a toe. Then today, I had the misery of having five teeth out. Not feeling very bright so if I have written a load of nonsense, then I do apologise!!

Craver Vii said...

Halfmom, you took the words right out of my mouth. Okay, that's not exactly how I would have put it, but yeah, it seems we need a certain amount of overlap. At least in attitude, if not ideology.

"Coopetition." First time I heard that one, Marcus. Methinks it has its place, though.

Don't think I haven't been stopping by. I still lurk at your blog regularly. Time constraints coupled with a season of dry, boring ideas (mine, not yours) have caused me to exit unproductively-- that is to say, without constructive comments. I'll snap out of it, but not next week though. I'll be taking time off to do a number of projects around the house.

Craver Vii said...

First, let me say, "ouch." If I knew the words, I would sing the llama lament. Now for your question...

I'm gonna say yes, 'Renzo. I think it does matter that ideas clash, especially because the concepts are sometimes mutually exclusive, and it would be illogical to embrace both. Nevertheless, patience, kindness and goodness as we work through the details is also important.

For example, I would say that being a faithful follower of Jesus Christ is the most important thing a person can do, and nothing on earth even comes close to it. And I might say that being a faithful follower means "A, B and C." How shall I respond to the person who does not want to follow Jesus, or who claims that being a faithful follower is achieved by "X, Y and Z?" (Does that make sense?)