“There, but for the Grace of God, go I”–A Favorite Photo

Man With 'Best Friend'

Man With ‘Best Friend’

I ran across this photo the week of Christmas 2013, and tears immediately came to my eyes.

I thought of how fortunate my family and Springer Spaniel are to have a warm, very adequate, and quite comfortable ‘roof over our heads’ at all times–much less in the winter.

One look at this picture brings back a lesson that my Mother constantly drove home to my sibling and I when we were growing up:

When you see someone who has suffered a major setback, whether it be the loss of health, wealth or social status, never forget the adage–“There, but for the Grace of God, go I.”

So while this photo serves as a stark reminder of just how fragile one’s life circumstances may become, there is an uplifting aspect to this image.

Clearly, in spite of dire circumstances, this gentleman appears to have chosen not to allow the harsh realities of his life diminish him or his humanity–as is demonstrated by the solicitous manner in which he ‘bundled up’ his Best Friend.

I find it very touching that he took pains to secure the scarves and sleeping bag in such a manner as to provide his ‘Friend’ the equivalent of a cap or headscarf.

Having lived in Alaska for many years, I can fully appreciate this gesture, since exposure of one’s head to cold accounts for heat loss of approximately 7% under normal circumstances, and up to about 55% for a hypothermia victim ‘who is shivering.’

As German philosopher Immanuel Kant is said to have opined,

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

By this measure, the man in this picture appears to be a decent man–with “a good heart.”

I sincerely hope that 2014 brings him and his dog much good fortune.



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