**UPDATE** Click here to see the follow up to this post that shows the original quote.
It is never the doberman who says to the poodle, “I too am a dog.”
I originally heard this quote from my dad who credited C.S. Lewis with saying it. After Googling it to pieces I wasn’t able to find any trace of it. So I’ll credit it to my dad until someone can find who originally said it.
The poodle feels the need to convince the doberman that he is his equal. The doberman, secure in his own reality as a dog, doesn’t need to convince anyone of anything. The brevity of the quote misleads how profound of a reality this is.
I see this often on Facebook. We are quick to project onto our status updates the “reality” of our life. I’ve noticed this whenever a person in a troubled marriage comments on how amazing their spouse is, or when a disgruntled employee comments on how amazing their job is going. Now there are plenty of times when you’ll see a comment like this and it is absolutely sincere. I am referring to the people who feel the need to make these kinds of public statements often, especially when you know firsthand that what they are posting publicly doesn’t match the private reality.
Facebook is filled with the bark of the poodle.
I don’t think we do this to intentionally deceive anyone. Instead, I think we do this as a way of projecting the reality we want. If we talk about it enough then surely others will believe it and then maybe it will actually be true, right? The problem is that this type of projection doesn’t lead us closer to our desired reality. Rather, it alienates us farther from it because we convince those around us that we already have it. We then find ourselves pretending constantly in order to save face because we know deep inside that there is a tremendous gap and we don’t know how to close it.
Our culture is filled with poodles loudly declaring their status to the dobermans around them. But we are all tired of this noise. While this post may sound judgmental, I am not directing it at anyone in particular. It is a question for all of us to consider. If you find yourself regularly posting statements like this on Facebook, or anywhere else, ask yourself why. Who are you trying to convince, and why does it matter?
I repeat this quote with an explanation as a challenge for all of us to live transparent lives of authenticity. The Church is known for its famous hypocrites, so let’s decide not to be yapping poodles.
It may mean you spend less time on Facebook. 😉