As a boy, I once saw a dog fall down as it rounded a downtown corner way too fast one summer day. Its toenails were too long and there simply wasn’t enough “toe tread” on the sidewalk. I was shocked. I thought only kids fell down and then only in front of grown ups. I laughed at the poor dog, not realizing that it did not like me laughing at it, not one damn bit.
As a grown man, I saw a Canada goose fall down one summer day. It, too, was walking way too fast and it tripped over a clump of grass. The poor goose’s beak rammed right into the soft dirt and it momentarily stuck there.
While I had laughed at the dog who fell down, I had only sympathy for the Canada goose. And that’s only because forty years or so had intervened between those two incidents. Enough time to fall down myself, dozens of times, so that I would never laugh again at anyone or anything that fell down in plain sight of another living creature.
Not exactly an earth-shattering revelation. But I finally learned that it’s the little things that happen on planet Earth that really matter.