If you zoom in on this picture, you will see Hero--The Wonder Dog and his temporary pack. He is visiting with Memaw & Dude Jennings for a few days. The Jennings have a boxer and a lab and when Hero goes to visit he sets about establishing he is the boss. Dogs are pack animals and there is a hierarchy in the pack. The Jennings dogs are a male and female-so Hero has to merely pull the wool over the male's eyes to become the alpha. His bluster and indignation have fooled the other into thinking there is more to him than there is in reality.
After the matter of who is in charge is settled, they settle down and enjoy each other's company--all under the watchful eyes of The Jennings. The truth of the matter is---most of us do not enjoy or desire a solitary life. We humans tend to form our own packs--groups--cliques--circles---in much the same manner as our canine friends. The question becomes---who are we choosing to make up our pack?
Many times--though not all--our families are our packs of origin. The basic family unit is close first cousin to wolf pack at times. As I think over these family dynamics, it is strikingly apparent we all have roles to play in these family packs. When my mother passed way, it was a startling realization that I was now the matriarch of our James family. It is not a title I really sought, but as the senior female, I became the heir apparent. I am fortunate in the fact that I love all the members of my family pack. Many experience friction and discord within their families which lead to the break down of the basic family nucleus and loss of the strength which comes from the pack.
We also tend to have packs of friends--co-workers--the like minded in our lives. These groups are a little more loosely formed, but can also serve a tantamount role in our lives. I have a group - pack of friends I began running with over 20 years ago and we have morphed and grown from that original love of running. A group of believers began many years ago as a small group. We have added to our group over the years and lost others. We all still stand in solidiarity as followers of Christ. This is only the beginning of the groups I am a part of--almost everyone circling around common grounds such a children or interests.
All these groups are an intricate part of who we are. We are influenced by those we surround ourselves with. Our packs are a good indicator of who we are--our integrity--our beliefs--our very being. Hero is limited in the packs he associates with by me. We as humans have the freedom to pick and choose our packs--our groups. May we all be of good intent when we associate ourselves with groups by choosing wisely those we surround ourselves with. As wise King Solomon said a long time ago--
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.