There are two types of people:
The first kind thinks cats are selfish, evil creatures that are only out for their own benefit. This kind of person will either kick or scare the cat in some other form to make it go away.
The second kind of person thinks cats are God’s gift to mankind. They will agree that cats are intelligent and loving animals. This kind of person will pet random cats and/or speak to them.
In case you haven’t guessed, I fall into the second category.
I used to have a fantastic job that I loved getting up for each morning. I got along well with most of my co-workers, I was satisfied with the task I was performing, I respected my superiors, the salary was more than enough to get by and I lived in an upscale area by the sea. I had a perfect life.
From one day to the other, I unexpectedly got a job offer that I didn’t have much time to think about. It would be in a country I had never been before and it’d be a task I was largely unfamiliar with.
It was the toughest decision I had ever been faced with. If it didn’t work out, I would have gambled away a secure workplace, fun colleagues, a lovely apartment and a good paycheck. But in the back of my head was the glimmer of hope: “What if it does work out?”
The day I quit my job I got off the bus, contemplating whether I had made the right choice, and saw two cats.
The first cat immediately ran away when it saw me walking down the street. The second cat looked at me, approached me and, quite simply, demanded “Meow”.
This isn’t uncharacteristic behaviour for a feline, but my mind was blown and realisation hit me like a ton of bricks.
Like these two cats, there are two types of people:
The first kind is afraid of the unknown. They avoid bad things by running away. They run and hide under the proverbial car until danger passes them by, because nobody can harm them there.
They never experience good things because they prepare for the worst-case scenario and let the fear of novelty govern them.
So does cat number one want to be petted or not? We will never find out because the cat does not communicate what it wants. Its chosen form of communication is avoidance/silence/withdrawal.
This cat thinks all human beings treat cats badly and in order to avoid that, it runs for cover.
The second kind of person is well aware that they could experience bad things. They see it as an inevitability of life. Therefore they are not afraid, because they know that it takes a leap of faith in order to experience good things.
Does the second cat want to be petted? Absolutely.
How do I know? It walks towards you, stares at you and demands “meow” until you bow down to pet it.
This cat knows humans can be bad but it also knows that there are people who love cats and will cuddle it. It is hoping that the latter will be the case but there is no way for the cat to predict in advance which kind of human it is dealing with.
Like the cat, the second kind of person knows what they want. Not only that, they communicate it clearly.
I want to be like cat number two. I want to have an open mind. I want to give people a chance to either disappoint me or make me happy. I don’t want for fear to cloud my judgement. I realise there are both good and bad people in the world and the same goes for experiences.
Is there any way for me to know how things will pan out at my new job?
Do I think it’s worth finding out?
When I worked for that job I absolutely loved, I was cat number one. Cat number one hiding under the car, because it was a safe space. I was in my comfort zone because nothing could hurt me there.
I don’t want to miss out on life by hiding from it. Like the cat said “meow” in order to be petted, I will say “yes” to life.
Can you imagine the regret cat number one felt when it saw that cat number two got what it secretly wanted and was too scared to pursue?