This week on the People’s Court, there was yet another dog bite case. If it wasn’t for dog bites and security deposits, there wouldn’t be enough material for a 10 minute short, much less 25+ years of daily episodes. Anyway, in this one, a Rottweiler got out of the house and chewed up a cut little mixed breed. The owner of the Rottweiler was caught on video days later with another of her dogs on a walk off leash, and when questioned, she responded with the ridiculous, “It’s my personal choice.” So, the judge reprimanded her, explaining that it wasn’t, that there are leash laws in almost every town & city in America, and that in a society, your personal choice has limits. After every case, the litigants speak with Doug in the hallway, where she again said that her personal choice would still be to not leash her dogs.
We’re starting there, but I don’t want to talk about leash laws or this woman’s boundless arrogance. What I do want to talk about is – we’ll get there in a second.
This morning, I watched another documentary on the Google/Facebook illuminati. It’s funny, I don’t watch any horror programming, giving exactly none of my time to anything scary. (The new Dr Strange movie is being called Marvel’s 1st horror-ish offering, and that will be an interesting conundrum for me when it is released. Which immovable object will be rolled aside?) Yet I continue to gobble up these documentaries, terrified at the level of control humongous tech companies have.
They watch and listen and know everything; our waist size, our favorite food, eye color, who we voted for, and when the last time was that we flossed. When her family begins to talk about tracking devices in vaccines and conspiracy theories, the Angel always correctly points out that nobody needs conspiracies or chips, they already know us better than we know ourselves.
Each of the documentaries ends with an appeal to get us to delete our accounts, which we, of course, never do. Facebook was down for several dark, hopeless hours this week and we wandered aimlessly through abandoned streets in withdrawal without seeing filtered pictures of food and the photoshopped perfect lives of people we haven’t seen in 20 years. They want us to not “Google” anything, not use our Gmail or Chrome, or scroll TikTok. Ha!!!
Now, here’s what I want to talk about, and why Zuckerberg reminds me of that unlikable woman on the People’s Court. There’s a concept in ancient wisdom traditions called Zimzum where God contracts Himself (or Herself, if you prefer) to make room for creation, for trees and oranges and you and me. We do that, too, anytime we enter into a relationship. We make space in our lives, schedules, hearts for another’s lives, schedules, hearts. We stop being only me and become us. Ideally we’re not so selfish and allow for the cares of somebody else.
We contract. We put limits on our freedom or “personal choice” or what we want. We put a leash on our dog. We don’t so that they can. We give and receive. I don’t date other women, as is my right or choice or whatever, because I have made space for the Angel in my life. I don’t delete my accounts because these products add value to my life. I like to email, I like that Amazon Music knows just what new songs I’ll like, I like that when I search for watch bands, I’ll get 1,000 ads for watch bands on Instagram. We make these choices everyday.
But this woman is only concerned with expanding, only concerned with herself and her “personal choice.” I don’t like that I can’t mow my grass at 6am, I don’t like that she can’t leave her dog off leash if she wants, I don’t like that Google most of the time gives me what it wants to give me or that it knows where I am and why 24 hours a day.
Contract or expand? It’s different and dynamic for each of us. What we choose today might not be our choice tomorrow.
I think my point is that we choose with intention. After watching these films, the real problem seems to me that we are unaware of this expanding/contracting decision. It’s vital we know there’s a choice to be made. We can give & receive OR we can leave our dogs off leash, so what about you, your dog or what either of you think. But if we can’t see the paths in front of us, then we’re simply being herded into the nearest enclosure based on algorithms and apathy.
We just get this 1 life and it’s way too short to not pay attention. It’s also way too precious to spend it selfishly. So, let’s make room for each other, love someone, and put a leash on our dogs.