What lessons can wounded and abused animals teach us?

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What indeed?

After reading the wonderful story about Mika, the soon-to-be three legged dog ,the answer came.

What do these beautiful souls teach us that  humans could and should integrate into their lives? They teach us kindness, love, compassion, joy, and forgiveness!

They teach us that we are not the product of what is happening to us. We do not get to be vengeful because we were attacked; we do not have to be angry because we feel slighted; we do not have to let a horrific past stand as an excuse for the negative emotions we harbor in our hearts. The past is not the reason for our own bad behavior.

We have a choice!

Victor Frankl was a Jewish psychologist who spent much of the second world war in a Nazi concentration vamp. His treatment was horrific. His living conditions unspeakable, as were those of others like him.

Frankl was by nature kind and deeply compassionate. He understood that we all suffer pain, we are all at the mercy of those who allow themselves to express their own misery by abusing others. He knew this and from this came his greatest discovery:

When  humans are treated with anger, they become angry; when faced with hate, they hate; hen  abused, they respond  with the urge to abuse, though they may not be able to express it outwardly.

However, he found, when treated with kindness, no matter what they have done, they gradually became kind. He faced his captors with the gentle eyes of compassion and found them becoming increasingly compassionate. Many of his captors began to help in whatever way they could to ease the horrors of
that place. They began to find excuses to bring aid and comfort, not only to him, but to others.

By his own change he brought out their feelings of care they would never have found in themselves. He learned and therefore taught, that revenge, anger and cruelty are not obligatory, but a choice. We choose how we will respond to painful situations.

As I stand here at Living Love, looking out over this beautiful place, I think of Mika, Batman, Antman, Princess, Mikey, Louise and all the lovely fur babies who have come through these gates, often bringing  with them, not their past baggage, not their anger for past wrongs, but sweetness and love and the desire for that love to be returned in a forever home.

Is there a place within us that longs to find peace, love and joy such as that brought by these dear creatures?
I don’t know, but I am looking.

 

by Claire Edwards

Mika the dog with a bad leg