Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Humane Society

The other morning I was walking down the block to my car and I hear yelling. Scolding, really.  Who's yelling at 7:20 in the morning?  And at whom?  Glancing up the block I see a woman walking an unleashed dog.  I hear her telling the pup he's a "bad dog" and "nasty."  Two thoughts cross my mind: 1. the dog is behaving perfectly fine, even when not on a leash, and 2. what crawled up this woman's ass?

Her behavior really bothered me.  Seeing anyone abusing their power over another (person, child, animal, what-have-you) really gets to me.  Knowing that a pet only behaves as good as it's owner expects it to, if this dog is really "nasty" and "bad," it's most likely the woman's fault.  The dog certainly didn't seem psychopathic as it plodded along in front of her down the street, sniffing at the fast-food wrappers and other dog shit that litters the sidewalks.  Her crap attitude made me wonder how she treats her children?  Going a step further, what the hell happened to her that makes her feel so powerless she has to take it out on a dog?

I have faith in the goodness of people.  Sometimes it's a difficult, nigh impossible faith to maintain.  I don't like to see the underbelly of human nature, though I know full well it exists.  The only way I feel I can combat it is to believe and expect others to act in a humane manner.  I expect this of myself and expect the same from others.  Not always to act "good" or "appropriately," but to deny evil, hatred, greed, selfishness, the desire to inflict pain on others.  Ok, I still have some issues with selfishness and greed, (there are SO MANY pretty shoes and I want them all to be mine!), but I acknowledge that and work on it every day.

"Goodness," for lack of a better term, needs to be nurtured from without as well as within.  I can see how it would be hard to maintain my, what some would call naive faith in human kind if I surrounded myself with abusers, emotional manipulators, and haters.  I don't.  I feed my soul with the love and care of others who feel similarly to me, who hold themselves and others to higher standards of humanity.

I've stopped reading/watching/listening to the news.  I wish I didn't have to, but the constant reminder that people are out there who don't give a damn about anyone but themselves was leaving me with holes in my heart.  The "feel good" stories weren't counter-acting the crap anymore.  I felt like I was fighting to breath under a tidal wave- why did no one else in the world care?  Why do the people in power not do anything to help?

This woman, so unhappy with herself, surrounded most likely by other people unhappy with themselves and their lots in life, brought my naivite about human goodness into sharp focus.  It also reminded me of why I strive for empathy for those around me.  This woman is either a psychopath or has been so beaten down by her lot in life that she no longer cares for anything but herself.  If I fight for empathy, I know it's possible for anyone to do the same.  I feel bad for the woman, worse for the dog, and proud  that I've fought against the negative forces in my life that I could have so easily given in to.  I drove to work silently thankful for my loving friends and family who help me see the positive (and funny, and unique, and ironic) in every day.

Labels: , , ,


  • At 2:08 PM , Blogger Kristin Marie said...

    I hear you! That feeling of treading water in a sea of negativity is something I struggle with every day. But as Dory says in Finding Nemo, "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."

    And you are always a great source of buoyancy for me.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home