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Posts Tagged ‘kindness to all creatures’

I am repeating this post from my own blog from 2012. It is never too late to do a kindness and there is never a wrong time but today is the day that celebrates it. Should you wish more information, there is a Random Acts of Kindness website with wonderful stories, ideas, etc., but I suspect you know exactly how to be kind. Have a lovely day.

Recently a friend from the other side of the country – Washington State, to be exact – sent me an e-mail with the photos below. Needless to say, the images have been collected by someone from all over the web and put together in that e-mail. I have  pulled them together for this blog post because I believe we all could use a little inspiration here and there and it never hurts to be reminded of the difference a small kindness can make, how a simple gesture can touch a heart and soul, and how there really is a great deal of kindness in the world despite what many sources would have us believe. We can always add to that, and it needn’t be on an official Random Acts of Kindness Day – it can be any day or every day.

Enjoy the photos. The e-mail began with this : If you never learn the language of gratitude, you will never be on speaking terms with happiness.

A father and mother kissing their dying little girl goodbye. If you are wondering why all the medic people are bowing,….in less than an hour, two small children in the next room are able to live thanks to the little girl’s kidney and liver.

The e-mail continued on with the following, which I have altered slightly to be more inclusive of all beings on Earth:

Every day, every day, you hear …
I WANT!   I WANT!  I WANT!
Every day you hear people saying what they want. Well, here’s what I want:

  • I want people who are sick to be healed
  • I want children – and animals – with no families and no one to love them to be adopted
  • I want people to never have to worry about food and shelter and heat
  • I want to see a kinder world towards all animals on this planet
  • Most of all, I would like to see people start to care more for one another.

May your heart be touched by kindness today and every day.

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When I was a child of  10 or 11, my Dad suggested we all go fishing at Cooper’s Pond in the town nearby. He made it sound like fun, so off we went.

CoopersPond-1bCooper’s Pond was a lovely park, the same place our family went to enjoy picnics or walking. On these outings, I brought along my Brownie camera that I’d been given at 9 years old, and I loved taking photos of the ducks on the pond as well as feeding them. What wouldn’t be enjoyable about fishing?

We didn’t have real fishing poles, just long sticks to which my Dad had secured some kind of line, maybe string, with a hook on the end. On the hooks, we put a piece of bread, and then we cast our lines into the water. It didn’t take long before I got a nibble, and something tugged at my line. My father got all excited, and instructed me to pull it toward me and then lift it out of the water.

There on the end of my line was a carp, probably only about 7″ long, writhing and twisting to free itself of the hook I had managed to snag in its sensitive mouth. I was horrified that I was the cause of this poor creature to be flailing about so, and I immediately began to cry, screaming, “Daddy, take it off! Daddy, take it off!” Daddy removed the hook from the fish and gently let him go back in the water, but I was inconsolable.

Who was I to have caused this animal such pain and make him fight for his life? As a child, I had not been able to make the connection between “having fun fishing” and the reality of a fish writhing on the end of my hook until I saw the results firsthand. I was heartbroken, I who fed all the ducks in that exact same spot, I who loved all animals from the earliest age I can remember.

It wasn’t until many years later, even still, that I made the next major connection that the meat or fish I cooked and ate had once been a sentient being. This is not what we’re ever told as children. The meat or fish served at meals appeared as a finished dish, prepared in some usually delicious way. One had nothing to do with the other.

The constantly evolving realization over time that the food on my plate had indeed been a living creature … and one who most likely suffered enormously before getting to my plate … enabled me to gradually eliminate almost all meat and fish from my diet in recent years. This is a plus as I move along the path to becoming vegan, but the earliest seeds of this transformation were sown when a little girl went fishing and found a humble carp to be her teacher.

Here is a dilemma I ponder nowadays … how, in writing children’s books, can I impart to young readers, without scaring them to death, of course,  that the animals they eat for dinner are no different in their capacity for contentment or pain than the animals they love as pets? That animals from chickens to elephants, honeybees to pigs, have complex lives of their own, social structures, families, attachments to their babies, and that maybe it’s not the right thing – the kind thing – to use them for our own ends, to cause them such suffering.  Is it enough to simply engender a love and appreciation of animals?

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