The tao of Dog the Bounty Hunter

I’ve just watched a programme on TV that has taught me more about human behaviour than anything else I have seen in quite some time. It wasn’t a posh drama or a high-brow documentary, but rather a sort of reality show on one of the less popular channels on the box. It was called ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ and was, unsurprisingly, about a bounty hunter called Dog.

As far as I could tell, Dog and his family run a bail bond business in Hawaii, loaning people charged with a crime the money that they need to post bail while awaiting a court date. If they don’t show up at court or if they otherwise break the terms of their bail, then Dog and his team find them, capture them and deliver them to the court. They also, presumably, try to get their money back.

The first thing I learned from Dog and his clan was the importance of mutual trust within a team. Dog worked as a unit with his wife, his brother, his son and his nephew – and they all clearly trusted each other 100%. They had complete confidence in their own and in each others’ abilities. They knew that they could rely on each other, no matter what happened.

The second thing was the value of compassion. Whenever Dog was pursuing a fugitive, he looked for the best in them. He recognised, it seemed, that there are no intrinsically ‘bad’ people, but only people who do ‘bad’ things. Despite knowing that he was dealing, in many cases, with hardened criminals, he treated them all politely, fairly and with respect. He showed that we are all human beings and that we all deserve to be treated as such, no matter what we have done.

The third thing was faith. Not in the religious sense, although Dog and his family were clearly quite Christian in their values, but faith that he was doing the right thing and that he was helping to make the world a better place. Faith in his family and friends. Faith in himself. And if you don’t have faith in yourself, I suspect Dog would argue, how can you expect others to have faith in you?

That, in essence, seems to be the way of the Dog the Bounty Hunter. I wouldn’t usually even admit to watching TV programmes like this, let alone write about them, but in this case I felt I had to make an exception. It just shows that you can learn the most profound things in the most unlikely of places. Another lesson from the Dog.

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