Below is a short story without an ending. Read it and notice what your gut reaction is. What do you think happens next? There’s no right or wrong answer, but your first response is likely the most honest and the most instructive. Your response may reveal something about the lens through which you are processing life. Whether or not it provides any insight, have fun with it!
Once upon a time there was a pack of dogs, purebreds and mutts, living together. The pack had just come through a difficult period. Their former alpha, a cocker spaniel named Georgie, had made a mess everywhere he went. For instance, he let his fellow purebreds eat almost all the food, leaving only scraps for the mutts in the pack. Unfortunately, the unmitigated gluttony of the purebreds caused a collapse in the food supply so that all the dogs suffered. To make matters worse, Georgie had taken on a pack of nasty Chows claiming they had hidden bones in their territory, which proved to be untrue.
Licking their wounds after the Chow episode, the pack decided to change leaders. The new alpha was Barkly, who was the first mutt ever to become pack leader. He reined in the purebreds’ excesses and ended the ongoing spats with the Chows. Barkly claimed that it took the work of the entire pack to secure food. Mutts served as scouts, pack protectors, puppy nurturers and territory markers, all of which were essential for the survival of the pack. Under Barkly’s leadership the purebreds who led each hunt still got first dibs, but the rest of the pack got a greater share of the food. Because they were better nourished, the mutts became even more adept and committed to their pack duties. As a result, food became more prevalent for all the dogs. In fact, even though the purebreds were receiving a smaller percentage of the packs’ GDP (Gathered Doggie Provisions), they actually ate more overall because the healthier pack was securing much more food.
While times were still hard, the future looked promising until…along came Mitts. Mitts was a pampered Pekingese, who nonetheless enjoyed instant status because he was a purebred. He started to complain about Barkly’s leadership. True, the pack was getting healthier, but Mitts yiped that it was taking far longer than it should.
Mitts also howled at Barkly’s idea that everyone in the pack should take turns licking a seriously injured dog’s wounds in order to maintain the wellbeing of the whole pack. Mitts said it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and each dog should tend to his own wounds. Mitts snipped at any starving, stray mutt who tried to join the pack, telling them to self-deport back to their own territory.
Above all, Mitts whimpered that Georgie’s approach had been right all along: purebreds should be allowed to devour all the choice food and let everyone else beg for scraps. This was the natural order of things according to Mitts. Oddly, a number of mutts even began to believe Mitts’ claim that they too would be better off if they let the purebreds do as they pleased.
Things came to a head. Mitts challenged Barkly for leadership of the pack. Mitts met secretly with the purebloods to line up their support, where he harrumphed that 47% of the pack were lazy, dim-witted mutts mooching off the feasts of hardworking purebreds. In public, however, Mitts tried to woo everyone with his double-bark and platitudes about the pack’s greatness. He even made a play for the support of female mutts by referring to his “binders full of bitches”.
The day of reckoning has finally arrived. Barkly and Mitts face off surrounded by the rest of the pack. What happens next?