There is a saying amongst Dragons – and one we would all do well to remember – that civility and kindness count. In honor of the spirit of this saying – and with profound affection – we set aside October 4th as Kiss-a-Dragon Day.
Of course, for some of us every day is Kiss-a-Dragon Day, but for others, this is a time to set aside draconic preconceptions and embrace the warm (hot!) and fuzzy side of our friends. To appreciate them as the extraordinary beings they are. To thank them for sharing their lives with us, and for helping us navigate the wilderness of life.
Not so coincidentally, KaDD coincides with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Even among Dragons ill-treated by the Western Church, there is respect for this simple man who opened his eyes and discovered the bigger picture: we are not above all the other creatures of the world – including Dragons – but one with them.
Sure, some are ill-tempered and dangerous – though no more so than humans and a host of other species. Generally speaking, it is not wise to leave a tiger in the nursery or invite a shark to a pool party. That’s just courting a serious bloodletting, not to mention terrible inter-species PR.
But Dragons are different. They straddle worlds both physical and meta, being by turns majestic and monstrous, mirroring the best and the worst of us. If we choose to see ravening beasts, with quick tempers and insatiable appetites, then those are the Dragons we will attract. If we open ourselves to their sagacity and sublime ways, to walking beside them rather than running from them, then we not only benefit from their company but tap into our better, nobler selves.
In this season of unhinged political ad hominems, fear mongering, and the bigoted demonizing of “others,” KaDD reminds us that courtesy, empathy, and decency towards others are not matters of “political correctness.” They are the simple manifestations of respect and appreciation of our fellows, two-footed, four, six, or a hundred. Skinned, scaled, furred, or feathered. We are all children of the Universe and should treat each other accordingly.
In honor of St. Francis and our bond with all creatures, great and small, set aside fear and trepidation, the darkness that too often threatens to eclipse the soul. Dive deep into Dragon eyes and find joy and wonder. Find yourself.
And, for all our Jewish friends and Dragons out there, Happy Rosh Hashana! (You would not believe how hard it is to find a Dragon-sized yarmulke.)