One of my favorite people is a friend who challenges himself in many fun and interesting ways. Whether it is acting on the local stage, shooting video, or leaning into the wind on a motorcycle or sailboat, this is a person who participates in life.

He is also a very caring person, and works as the videographer for a hospital — a role in which he sees many of the poignant and challenging moments of family and personal life. He takes people’s concerns very seriously, but is also quick with a smile. He cares about people and knows that being friendly and considerate goes a long way to making people’s lives better.

Whenever I see him he greets me exuberantly with a smile and a hug, and I feel very much a part of the joy of the moment. He is a true friend and I am very appreciative of his presence in my life.

Because I know him well, I also see how he tries hard through his own times of pain and challenges — to keep moving — and that makes me respect him even more.

He told me recently that his aging dog often needs to be let in and out of the house, and so he installed a doggy door. A family member warned him that “skinny drug users” might take advantage of the doggy door — a thought and image that made my friend laugh, and resulted in a promise that he himself would test the door!

So the latest time we gathered at my friend’s house he showed us the doggy door, and almost before we knew it he was on the floor and out through that little hole. “The trick,” he said, “is going through on an angle.”

As any engineer or child will tell you, if you want to move forward you’ve got lean forward. We do it every day when we walk, which is actually controlled leaning. Standing still means standing straight up. Moving means leaning, and leaning means being on an angle and a bit off balance.

We can’t all fit through doggy doors or ride motorcycles, but there are lots of things that each of us can lean into — that we can learn and share and do — to make lives better, for us and others.

through-the-doggy-door-part-1 through-the-doggy-door
Going through life on an angle. You have to lean into life to move forward.

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