Jonesing for Leftovers


My pooch was jonesing for leftovers this morning, hoping for a bite of muesli or a lick of almond milk.

I realize he was just being a mutt, fulfilling his animal nature to be noticed, front and center.

For my pup Romeo, it’s me-me-me, the constant refrain of selfhood.

When I go to Buddhist church (I feign belonging, but in truth, I am a bald-faced interloper) the discussion always falls on selfhood. But in a different vein.

While the canine can’t help but instantiate himself and his needs, we hear in church (place air-quotes around church) that focusing on self brings suffering.

I try to wrap my head around the concept that paying too much attention to selfhood brings angst.

We learn that the self demands too much: love, attention, fulfillment. And because we don’t get what we want, we become unhappy.

If we deflect the needs away from our own desires and refocus our attention, we may be more able to court happiness.

Don’t think that will work for the hound-dog. He will remain Romeo, jonesing for a handout.

Romeo Jones.


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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