“You’re just another damned bleeding heart.”
“People should just suck it up and deal with things. They made their beds, now they can lie in them.”
“I have problems of my own. I can’t afford to be helping everyone else.”
“That poor kitten deserves a chance to live. He didn’t ask to be born.”
“That poor dog was so abused. The owners should be arrested and thrown in jail.”
“She’s just a poor, defenseless little puppy. Help her get her forever home.”
So, we’re talking here about empathy, or rather a peculiar phenomenon I’ve noticed, whereby some people have all the empathy in the world for animals, but couldn’t give a rat’s petootie about their fellow human beings. I’m sure that some people reading this rant will be offended. If so, yep, I’m probably talking about you.
The universe is a big place; the human race a tiny mote in the expanse of this universe. Yet, instead of everyone coming together to love and support one another in this enormity, we practice a variety of isolationist separatism that reinforces the idea of individual superiority of any one particular human over another, and a selective empathy that places other animals above human animals. How many thousands of people are out there every day rescuing cute little kittens and puppies, throwing their massive energies into saving the lives of ailing strays, but turn a blind eye to child abuse and neglect, or the plight of a tiny tot with cancer, whose family has, through no particular fault of its own, no resources?
When asked to lend a hand for a stray animal, they’re clamoring to be first, criticizing those who don’t step up to their plate and demonizing them as selfish, uncaring sods. They see nothing wrong with denying humans the same assistance, often blaming them for their circumstances, but should they ask for help for a sick, stray kitten, they expect everyone to jump in and donate for medical care that may or may not even save the animal’s life. To be very clear, I, too, donate to rescue efforts and have given forever homes to many strays over the years, through their sicknesses and their health. Having empathy for helpless, defenseless animals does IS NOT MUTUALLY EXLUSIVE with having the same or, perhaps, greater empathy for human animals.
We all share this planet. When one creature, human or animal, is diminished, it diminishes us all, whether we are consciously aware or not. When we share the burdens of caring for others, there is strength and hope and help in abundance. But when we decide that some are more worthy than others, we lessen our own humanity.
So why am I on this rant? Today I read a blog post from a woman I didn’t know, who has devoted her life to animal rescue, but who today had asked for help for a tiny little tot with high-risk stage 4 neuroblastoma, and was shocked to find that her pleas were met with stony silence from all of her oh-so-helpful animal rescue donors and supporters; nary a peep of support for this precious child and his family, who have nothing and are living on the edge daily. You may read Ayden’s story here: https://www.facebook.com/Aydencandothis. And while I don’t know the writer, nor this family and their child, from Adam, Eve or their kids, I believe they are deserving of all the help they can get. The last thing anyone in this situation needs to hear is “suck it up and deal with it,” “you made your bed, now lie in it,” or “it’s not my problem.”
I have no ulterior motive in blogging about Ayden and his battle with cancer. And I’m not looking for prayers for him. I’m not saying you shouldn’t pray if that’s your belief, but let’s get real here, because what his family needs now is cold, hard cash to weather this hugely terrifying, massive medical storm. If you are moved to make a gift to help this family out, to act without judgement or moral superiority, please take a moment to visit Ayden’s Angels here: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/ayden-s-angels/191563 and share a little love.
Let’s hear it for the magnificence of humanity, people, shall we? In the end, love is all there is.