Thursday, December 17, 2009

Doing The Right Thing Makes Everyone's Life Better

I just caught a tiny bit on ABC News in the segment they've been doing all week as a farewell to Anchor Charles Gibson, who's retiring after 35 years. The little piece I saw STILL has me in tears of awe.

Some years ago, Gibson was given the privilege of releasing a Bald Eagle that had been nursed back to health after being injured. He was told by the rehabilitationists, "The eagle will fly off, then circle over your head in a show of thanks, and will then fly away." "Yeah, right," Charlie thought, and then, to his utter astonishment and delight, the eagle did precisely that.

There's SO much more complexity in the minds of the life around us than we humans have the snap to recognise.

How people can be so cruel - to one another, to themselves, to the natural world? I just don't understand how they can be alive and not see how stunningly beautiful and immense and impossibly incredibly and inexorably connected we all are. Time and again, I see clear evidence of sentient behaviour in animal species that most humans consider "lesser forms of life." Things like the eagle predictably circling its "friends." How can anyone only see a dumb animal in that behaviour? What arrogance! What absolute rubbish!

Has my rant made any sense? I dunno...I'm far too serious these days, but then, I always have been.

Back in the 70s, when I was a fairly angry feminist, a guy once asked me why I seemed so humourless about sexism, and at first I felt a little ashamed. And then I realised the fellow was right; I AM humourless about injustice and cruelty and mindless behaviour. And honestly? I don't really care to find the humour therein, though I confess that I eventually relaxed a bit and managed to find some humour in the interplay between men and women. But then, I had no choice; I worked as an enginerd in the high tech industry...when I started there were MAYBE two other women in my department. :-/ Late in that career, I was informed during a performance appraisal that other managers had complained I was "intolerant of mediocrity," and I just guffawed. "If tolerance of mediocrity is required, I want OUT!" Now THAT was a pretty funny situation.

I don't suppose I will ever stop fighting the good fight for all my fellow creatures, and following Dylan Thomas' insistence that we must "rage, rage against the dying of the light."

So DO go gently into that good night, folks. Be kind. Be mindful of your words and deeds and thoughts. Do your ever-connected best to be good neighbors to the world around you, and remember, we've been given the great honour of being Stewards of this perfect world. Let's not screw it up another day/hour/minute/moment's worth. Please?

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