This piece came about through a discussion with a dear friend’s daughter – we’ll call her V. V is a walking open heart. Her love for animals is boundless. She has chosen this to be her life mission. If you are on Facebook, then, no doubt, you have seen the photos of horrendous abuse perpetrated on our non-human family members. You’ve no doubt seen Patrick, a miracle.
The woman responsible for the nightmare of Patrick was one Kisha Curtis. She has kids. It sends chills down my spine that this human mutation has bred.
And last week, there was Breezy. Her abuse was thanks to one, Steven Helfer of Ottawa, Ontario. He was arrested but the majority of perpetrators are not and we should all be very afraid. It has long been accepted, by the world of psychology, that animal abuse is a standard indicator of a borderline, sociopathic or actual psychopathic personality.
That this type of abuse continues and is some cases, rewarded, as with Michael Vick is a very depressing statement of our society. And so I apologize to V. I apologize to all the young people like V. We should have been able to leave you a legacy of decency, of morality, of caring, of ethics and personal responsibility. We should have. We failed. Miserably.
The 60’s was the time when our social consciousness was raised. It was on the news, it was in our streets, in our faces, in the very air we breathed. We wanted change. We wanted a better world. Young people were taking stands all over the Western world. Standing up for civil rights, refusing to pick up arms and fight a war that couldn’t be won. A war that laid young lives on the altar of death for politicians and for corporations. We dropped the ball and reached for sparkly-shiny instead. The 60’s gave way to the 70’s. Materialism became the order of the day and we fell further and further into an abyss of self-gratification, personified in the 80’s. Wars still raged and young people without the silver spoon of wealth, were again laid on the altar of death, for corporations and big money.
Then the new millennium. In French, there is an expression: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” In our case, however, each passing year shows the very nature of our species as becoming more debase, more corrupt, putrefying as it dances its way to the pinnacles of avarice and materialism in Prada, Gucci and carrying a Coach bag, wearing faces filled with Bo-Tox or pulled up beyond reason. Breast full of saline while the world starves, dies and eats itself.
We are all aware of our failing. Our politicians smoke screen us with stupid issues while our city streets are lined with human victims of our shallow society.
Canada, the U.S, Europe; none can claim ignorance. We are more educated now than we have ever been but still we allow the concept of the elite, the Lords of the Manor, to determine our fates. What was the point of any of our revolutions when “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”?
I’m so sorry V. We have let you down. All the promises we made to each other, back in the day, were empty. There is no cure for society’s malaise, I’m afraid. Not without total annihilation of our political and social structure. There is a light however, there is hope. It is simply a matter of perspective. Every single action to which we commit our heart, is a light. It is necessary to understand that the world cannot be changed. We can’t help everyone. We can, however, do something to share a little love, warmth and kindness within our personal realms. We can rescue a dog, we can rescue a cat. We can buy that homeless soul a soup or a meal. We can donate what we no longer use in our privileged space to those who don’t know the fortune we so, often, take for granted.
We can protest to our government, when inequality is exposed. We have the power to vote them out. Yes, it is a game that the rich and powerful play but regardless, we do hold the cards. We have only to lay them down and take the ante for our own.
We need to keep plugging away with love, kindness and warmth but never forgetting the lessons learned by Breezy, by Patrick, that monsters walk with us, they live next to us or work in the neighbouring cubicle. Be loving, be caring but be very, very careful
I wish the world we helped create was better, V. The protests against injustice have been silenced, we’ve shut out the world with the “del” key, with our ear buds and our streaming entertainment. We hide out in the World of Warcraft, in the mountains of Skyrim while the real world becomes filthier and more cruel every day. We lay down our signs and picked up a laptop.
Keep on, keeping on V. We may no longer be able to light the world with love but we can light up our own little space and the space of those with whom we share that light.