— Thomas Merton
Recent world events may provide some of us with enough distance to pause or reflect on our own humanity. Still more of us adopt an attitude of " it will never happen to me." "It's far away.", "It's not my family, "It's not my problem." But there is a measurable difference between those who abuse this stance due to callousness and those who must use distance in order to emotionally survive emergency situations or help resolve conflict.
Pema Chodron, author of "The Places That Scare You" relates a powerful message:
" For arousing compassion, the nineteenth-century yogi Patrul Rinpoche suggested imagining beings in torment — an animal about to be slaughtered, a person awaiting execution. To make it more immediate, he recommended imagining ourselves in their place. Particularly painful is his image of a mother with no arms watching as a raging river sweeps her child away. To contact the suffering of another being fully and directly is as painful as being in the woman's shoes."
Compassion encompasses all living creatures and until we realize we are all connected on this Earth, we will continue to watch men, women, children and animals suffer in violent acts of war, terrorism and hatred. Apathy and indifference will continue which is easier than searching deep inside ourselves for genuine understanding of another persons loss, pain and frustration. We have an untapped capacity for empathy. Most human beings know what it feels like to suffer injustice. That's why we react when human and animal rights atrocities occur. We allow ourselves to feel, to imagine being in another's place, human or animal. Children learn this life altering skill from observing the adults in their lives.
Selfishly, many adult criminals refuse to extend empathy or compassion to animals especially if money and power are involved. Right now, worldwide and in cities across the United States there are thousands of puppies in local pet shops who are bought and sold from illegal puppy mills or breeding factories. These animals suffer tremendous cruelty while mass produced, neglected, tortured, killed and tossed away like stuffed toys. Puppy mills are the main supplier of puppies to pet stores in your community and pet shops online. July 21st has been designated NO PET STORE PUPPIES DAY. For more information please follow the link here: http://www.aspca.org/blog/july-21-no-pet-store-puppies-day With so many unwanted and perfectly adoptable pets in shelters why would any one chose to support a puppy mill by purchasing at a pet store? Please, expand your awareness of these operations in your own neighborhood. Animals depend on us for their survival. Please, don't allow them to suffer. All animals are a part of our family and no member of Earth's family is insignificant.