Saturday, May 28, 2011
Identity: the distinguishing but consistent character or personality of an individual in constantly changing circumstances.
Identity is a mental model of one’s self. It relates to an individual’s self-image, self-esteem, and uniqueness. It contributes to how that individual views one’s self as a person and how he or she stands in relation to others around him. The more assured and accepting a person is of one’s own self-image, the more peaceful and stable one’s behavior and performance are in all aspects of life.
The pit bull’s not so attractive appearance may induce hysteria. Yet it actually translates to practicality and economy. A pit bull requires minimal grooming and maintenance. Its nature and eating habits are simple and predictable. It has no fancy needs and doesn’t demand much attention like labradors, pomeranians, or poodles do. It is also reputed to be very hardworking and frugal, and it knows its position and purpose in life.
Just by being simple, rugged, and consistent, the pit bull can be very comforting company. His earthy nature lends an air of comfort and support to others around him and even provides a sense of therapy to those who need healing.
A few years ago, Cody, a pit bull puppy, was picked by members of the Even Chance Pit Bull Advocacy of San Diego when he was seen limping around an abandoned shelter. At the rescue veterinarian’s office, his chances didn’t look too good when he was diagnosed with a congenital deformity called ectrodactyly or “lobster claw.” Kind donors, through Even Chance, paid to have an orthopedic surgeon correct Cody’s paw. His two split toes were fused together with the surrounding skin, transforming his “lobster claw” to a “mitten.”
Cody was undergoing water therapy when his nature was discovered to be earthy, simple, and very loving. It was as if his past and pain had softened him rather than traumatized him. Soon, he was adopted by Barbara Sullier, a parent of one of the interns at the clinic.
Barbara described Cody as “a sweet, little, loving boy with a charisma that pulls people over to talk to him. He loves all people and wants to make them happy.” Cody still continued to limp due to missing bones and muscles in his right foreleg, but that hardly affected his style.
His personality and traits soon led him to be trained and certified, at age one, as a therapy dog by the Los Angeles based New Leash on Life’s “Lend a Paw” program. During “wheelchair tests,” Cody would reach up gently and kiss people with disabilities. Children with physical disabilities would easily relate to him and get their spirits boosted by his consistent kindness and even nature.
Through all prejudices and hardships against him, Cody never lost sight of his own, true image. He knew exactly who he was and what his purpose in life was.
"Reflections for an Entrepreneur," in the next issue.