I may have mentioned before that the world is largely populated by good people. The problem is, the impact of bad people has a powerful negative effect on us and stays in our mind for weeks, even months. But when we read or hear of someone doing something good, we think How lovely, and forget about it quite quickly.
Despite that, I want to share how good I am, and how, in exchange for that goodness, I was the recipient of a good deed. This, in Buddhism, is called Cause and Effect. We term benefits as conspicuous, like the one I am about to describe, and inconspicuous, such as the moment you realise that your noisy neighbour is no longer making you angry or a difficult customer does not elicit a defensive response. Anyway, I digress.
‘I’ve lost my dog.’ she told me. ‘He just ran off and disappeared. I think he’s gone for good.’
With the dog’s name: Duke, in my mind along with his description, I set off on my own walk, while the lady reversed her car from its spot and left. The thought that this poor animal might still be about, and his owner not so much, made me determined to find him. I shouted, ‘DUKE,’ and to my joy, a slim dog resembling a short haired, golden and grey German Shepherd, came pelting towards me from a thicket.
But did he allow himself to be caught? Not on your Nellie. By the time my two dogs had given him the once over and I had untangled a lead from my jacket pocket, the poor frightened creature had run off again.
I ran pathetically after him calling his name, but I couldn’t keep up. Instead of Duke, I came upon a man, also calling ‘Duke!’ This, it turned out was the husband of the distraught woman I had met at the entrance. We agreed to head in different directions but call as I might, Duke remained stubbornly hidden.
Meanwhile, Milo had dumped his ball somewhere and seemed to have no idea where. This is now a daily occurrence, but I hope some other dog is gaining huge sport-ball benefit. At the same time, Hooper, my step-dog was giving chase to skylarks with loud and glorious barks, his Spaniel ears flapping among the grasses, his body lost to sight. This was beginning to be a painful experience.
Having retrieved both dogs and retraced my steps, in the forlorn hope of Milo finding his missing ball, a couple hove into view. More members of the search party, was my first thought, but no. A smiling female called out, ‘Have you lost your keys?’ ‘Err.. ‘ I said, and fumbled in my pocket, the pocket that had previously held the lead with which I had attempted to catch Duke.
The lady clarified further. ‘Do you drive a Suzuki?’
‘Yes!’ I felt foolish. ‘Thank you SO much.’ I resisted burbling an explanation about the missing dog and instead marvelled at the synchronicity of these people spotting my keys and meeting me, just as I needed them. There is no such thing as coincidence. Everything has a purpose.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo