I think having pets is something everyone should do. I love all animals (that are not snakes or spiders :). I have been blessed to have some great pets in my life. They have brought me happiness and love and friendship. They are loyal and great company. I have trouble sleeping now if I am away from home and my cat is not snuggled up next to me. She has sat with me while I cried tears I wanted no one else to see, watched me do a happy dance when excitement was too great to simply say “Yipee”. She even thinks she is a gaurd dog. She is very loyal and protective. She hisses and claws at anyone she sees as a threat to me or our little abode.
They are using animals to help seniors in nursing homes, cancer patients and abused children. Autistic children and those with other impairments have responded to the love they receive from their furry friends. Pets are a wonderful addition to life.
Often people who are grieving or depressed will do well to have an animal to care for and receive love from. It helps give a purpose in life. A reason to get out of bed in the morning. They need food and water and affection. I think everyone should have one. (Except my mom who is deathly allergic)
Many people can watch movies or stories of human atrosities or people being slaughtered but once an animal gets hurt then their hearts are outraged. I love watching old westerns but when I was younger and there was a gun fight or a battle in an old war movie my first concern was always the fallen animal, not the soldier or cowboy that had been mortally wounded. Animals pull on the heart strings of most of us. Too bad most of us don’t have that same compassion for other humans.
I think animals teach compassion. Something that is lacking in much of the world. We say we care, that we have compassion for our fellow man but we change the channel when a sad story of someone suffering comes on the news or a documentary on starving children or unsafe living conditions comes on the screen. We often figure “There is nothing I can do”, “I have my own problems”, “someone else will help them”.
It may be true that we can’t save everyone. As much as I would like to I cannot solve world hunger or the issue of child abuse or war by myself. I realize that much. There is always something that I can do though. It doesn’t have to be news worthy, UN speech giving stuff to make a difference in the world.
Everyone can do something. My mom is great at making other people’s lives better. She spends hours calling or writing others to let them know she is thinking about them. My parents both serve others and offer kindness and friendship in small ways each and every day. They brighten the lives of someone who is sick or depressed every day. My best friend is another example to me. She has seen me through the worst times of my life and still shown me friendship and love. She is the most accepting and compassionate friend and example I have ever had the honour of calling friend. She knows the worst and the best about me but still loves me anyway. She listens to my rants, my fears, my accomplishments and my failures and is still always there for me. When I was at my very lowest point in life she was patient until it was time for her to finally tell me that I needed to make a choice…I could pick myself up, realize what was really important in life and get on with it, or I could continue to wallow in self pity and give up. She taught me what a real REAL friend is. I want to model the way I treat others after the way she treats me. It is no surprize she is an animal lover! My family and my “sista” (best friend) helped change my life by supporting, loving and believing in me. When I didn’t believe in myself they carried me through. Sometimes that is the greatest gift that you can give someone…to believe in them.
Even if a person is a depressed couch potato like I once was, or maybe is agoraphobic and cannot leave the house, or even on house arrest for a really stupid decision….they can choose to make a difference in the lives of those around them. The past does not have to dictate or predict the future. Each and every day there is a choice of how I am going to live it. I can choose to be a better person than I was the day before or not. I can choose to be happy or not. I can choose to help another or not.
As I have mentioned before, there is a list of sites on the side of my blog where you can click to donate. Costs you nothing but helps another person, animal, community or cause. There are sites that help others, letters a person can write, phone calls a person can make, causes people can champion even from their own home. You don’t ever have to move out of your chair to choose to make a difference in the world. It IS a choice. We all choose what affect we have on life. We decide if we are going to sink or swim. If we are going to drop out or endure to the end and finish the marathon. It is a choice whether you spend your time feeling sorry for yourself or figuring out how to change your world. For a long time I blamed circumstances, other people, lack of money, lack of talent, lack of brains, lack of resources. I had an excuse or reason why I would help someone if I could but I just couldn’t….how wrong I was. I needed to make up my mind and decide that I was going to change my life.
Do you remember the movie “What about Bob?” and the book in it called Baby Steps. While it was a comedy there are some sound principles in that concept. Starting your journey to change the world can start with something small like concentrating on changing your thoughts. If you are always negative about yourself then CHOOSE to change. Find one new good thing about yourself every day. Create a good thing about yourself to be proud of. List your positive qualities rather than focusing on negative ones. Write a gratitude journal. My daughter and I used to end our day by listing several things that we were thankful for in our day.( I still end my day that way…she is always at the top of my life). As we started to do so the way I looked at my day changed. Instead of seeing all the wrong things about my day I started to focus on all the things that I was grateful for in my day. It is interesting that most of the list each day is expressing gratitude for the people in my life that have made the choice to make my world and others a better place. Find one thing you can do for another human being to make their life better each day. Even if it is just a card telling them how much they mean to you or to carry their groceries to the door for them. The more you focus on serving other people the less you will find wrong with your life. The more you will be grateful for and the happier you will be. Happiness and peace is a choice. You can focus on all the bad things or focus on the good.
I love the saying “I used to complain that I had no shoes….until I met a girl with no feet.”