Oakland, California
July 8, 2019
Warm and sunny

A Giraffe’s Eye View

On the morning of July 4, I was standing on a corner in Piedmont, watching the yearly ritual of the Fourth of July parade go by. The beautifully restored, old cars were just turning onto the main street, when a small, antique Volkswagon turned along with them. Sticking out of the back window was the long, thin neck of a plush giraffe. His neck was slightly twisted around so that his eyes could look out at the long parade ahead of him.

He was taking in a giraffe’s eye view of the parade.

What is a giraffe’s eye view? The giraffe is very, very tall. From that height, things which look big to us, look small to him. At the zoo, when he is watching the visitors watching him, he is like one of us watching the dogs play at the dog park. We don’t try to get in and play like the dogs, we just observe them. So, the giraffe looks, with no judgement, at the curious creatures below him.

We do not have to be 15 feet tall to have a giraffe’s eye view.

We only have to feel that we are a giraffe, looking down at the events unfolding before our eyes. From that height our point of view changes. We can see that people are playing “I dare you” with their guns and tanks, moving their armies here and there, imprisoning some people and forgiving others. We are observers of the games, not participants.

At the dog park we do not play with the animals, and from our giraffe’s viewpoint, we do not join the games. What we do is look for ways to protect the innocent. “May no one suffer” is our mantra.

May this 246th year since the signing of the Declaration of Independence bring us wisdom, courage, and compassion.

Looking Up,


2 thoughts on “A Giraffe’s Eye View”

  1. Elizabeth Smith

    Dear Dorothy, your analogy to the giraffe’s view is so remarkable! Thank you for continuing to remind me of the notion of not joining in when negativity appears. Your writing is a treasure.

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