“Leave it” means exactly what it says. Stop. Turn around and walk away. Don’t look back. Return attention to where it should be.
Faith, my first service dog, responded one way to “leave it”. She detected something off limits, but the enticement couldn’t be ignored. Her nose led her exploring the strange object to learn all about it. The more she sniffed, the more she forgot her job of helping me, and focused on her new find. Her readiness to respond to my command took a backseat to her new discovery.
“Faith, leave it.” I said.
She looked at me as if to say, “Must I?” Then, obediently, she turned away and came to my side ready for the next task. Distraction forgotten.
Giles, my current service dog, on the other hand responds the opposite way. He sees something off limits, and his curiosity entices his attention to become entangled in his discovery. My needs forgotten.
“Giles, leave it.” I say.
No response. He’s deaf to my voice.
“Giles, leave it.” I repeat.
Still no response.
I know you hear me. Your stubbornness is showing.
“Giles, I said LEAVE IT”
He stands still and looks at me as if weighing the worth of leaving his new treasure to come back to work, or continue ignoring me to satisfy his own desires. Sometimes his investigative nose wins; other times duty wins. He trots back to my side with tail held high and wag mechanism in full force. It’s as if nothing happened.
Faith’s and Giles’s response reminds me of the way I respond to distractions. Some interesting temptation draws my attention from what I’m doing. Do I give in, or do I ignore it? Sometimes I see it for what it is and continue working. Other times the lure is subtle and I don’t realize I’ve been led astray until something major happens to awaken me from my waywardness.
We all get distracted, at times, from life’s important tasks. Our responsibility when a temptation arises is to make the correct choice between frivolous disruptions and important necessities.
How do you handle “Leave it”? Give a comment.