Sunday, July 18, 2010

How Do We See Ourselves?

If you judge humanity by its worst people, you see a mostly bad people. If you judge humanity by its best, you see mostly good people. There is a lot of overlap.

We've had two atrocity stories in the last week. In one a man forced his dog to die of starvation and thirst in the heat just a few feet away from water and food. I'm having trouble even believing this. It sounds like a hoax. Photographs can be hoaxed. In the other a man and a friend of his, probably drunk, shot a dog six times for "not settling down." How about pushing all of an animal lover's emotional buttons in one week? There's also the guy who got put away for a parole violation for associating with people who have sex with animals, and as we all know, as we've all been told a thousand times so that we cannot forget, sex between a human and an animal is a lot worse than killing the animal in a hotbox or shooting it six times, so the horror of this heatwave week has been capped off nicely.

I guess that we're supposed to judge an animal activist charity by its best people but the rest of humanity by the worst. If we blind ourselves to the misconduct of a charity to the point that we can't see it when they do wrong, and if we sensitize ourselves to what ordinary human beings do wrong to the point that we can't see the ones who do right, then we have a huge problem.

This is really convenient for the charity. If you put anyone anywhere who has any human decency on the payroll of, for example, the HSUS, and you occasionally hear that this human did something decent, they're golden, aren't they? We become subservient to them. Then we are all rotten little pieces of dirt who are lucky to occasionally be sprinkled with gold by the golden ones (sometimes we get showered with gold, just often enough to make it believable), and we regularly buy indulgences from people whose best qualifications for their jobs include a rotten attitude towards life and humanity, no conscience, no real compassion for humans or animals, and a lot of greed. Check out Martha Stout's "The Sociopath Next Door" for the type.

What does the HSUS tell us about the horrors that they hire, like John Goodwin who teaches college-age people to burn down their own society? Don't judge the HSUS by what Goodwin "used to do" and don't judge Goodwin by what Goodwin "used to do." Judge an ordinary human harshly and forever by something that he did when he was a teenager, or something that he thought of doing when he was a teenager, or something that someone said he did, or something that someone else did that he has no control over. It's all good. It's all profit.

One way to look at a "hoarder" is to understand that he or she has given up their life for the animals, which is exactly what animal activists want us to do. The persecution of hoarders is like the persecution of people who are overly pious and actually want to live a Christian lifestyle. We see both all the time. Even more, it's simply because the so-called hoarder really does care about the animals and keeps them going because the hoarder does what life does. He or she is a real part of the living world. The people who persecute them are something else.

Do we judge ourselves by the worst or the best? At work do I judge myself by the work that I had to leave behind for lack of time or by the way that I straightened things out and made an extra effort for the customers? Did I leave a mess for someone else to clean up or did I clean up more than half of the daily mess? At home do I judge myself for not putting away the dishes or do I judge myself for making sure that all the humans and animals were properly fed and for fixing the bathroom sink?

In the game of life the worst mistake is to let an adversary tally your score. Keep your own score. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Stop taking the blame for others and start giving yourself credit for the good that you do.

No comments:

Post a Comment