I had an epiphany today at work.
The announcements for the day ahead came on at 7:32 right after the pledge of allegiance and moment of silence. One of them was about a collection for donations to the local animal shelter and, if memory serves, it said “bring in warm soft blankets for poor puppies and kitties at the shelter so they can have a safe and warm holiday.” Do dogs celebrate holidays? Do cats? How do you wish an animal happy holiday and what is that holiday called? What kind of traditions are included in these holidays? How do the blankets make the animals in the shelter safe?
Ok before I continue, I feel I must say these two things so you don’t think I am heartless towards animals who have no voice….
I honor the school club that is taking donations for the animal shelter. I think it is a good thing to take care of animals we have deemed domesticated in our US culture. I am glad it is something the students can buy into and feel a sense of philanthropy. It is a good thing to collect these blankets.
I have two cats who rule the house. The kitties were found and rescued from New Orleans after Katrina hit. I love them. They are very important to me. Their desire to sit on my lap or the keyboard of the computer while I am working is very endearing. I have a neighbor who has dogs and they are the sweetest things ever! I grew up with a cute little black cocker spaniel and then when I was in college my parents got a dalmatian that helped teach my kids to walk (not really but she treated them like they were her puppies). I think animals love their humans. Who else always greets us at the door no matter how long we have been gone from home? Who isn’t afraid of us when we have the flu and will sleep curled up even when we are so ill we can’t reciprocate? Their love knows no bounds. They are important to our way of life. We, as people living in the US, find them necessary and often as important as humans. What other culture has cards for “grandcats” or “granddogs” (the pets of your children who may or may not have children)? Just saying.
As I was saying, before I got distracted, we were in school this morning…..
My first period was taking a test so I had some time to muse.
In second period I had to teach but luckily we were talking about The Canterbury Tales. I love Chaucer! I began to think back to the satire presented in many of the characterizations and one in particular, the Nun’s characterization. He like this character but finds some of her choices to be a bit odd for her profession.
I don’t want to go into detail or bore you with a lecture about the nun but, the short version is – Chaucer was pointing out that she loved animals so much that she fed her doggies fancy foods and became distraught when mice (who carried many diseases) were ensnared in a trap. Her job as a nun in the 1300’s was to care for the poor, ill, widowed, orphans, among other disenfranchised people of the time. She doesn’t seem to be good at her job as Chaucer never mentions her taking care of humans at all.
Excerpt from The Prologue of The Canterbury Tales The characterization of the nun
As I was reading and considering this passage I began to think about our US culture. Most of us aren’t nuns so maybe it isn’t our “job” to care for the disenfranchised. Maybe that’s why it seems that we care for animals so much but have a hard time believing that there are 29.8 million people held in slavery today. The staggering number of people that are held with out their consent is mind numbing, and it is so much easier to ignore it than it is to face. So instead of talking about how to solve human suffering we talk about how to help animals in need.
This month I am wearing dresses every day, all day to bring awareness to human trafficking in the world. I realize I am blessed to live in a country where I can choose what to wear, who to worship, to work outside the home or inside, to go out with ma honks on a Friday night , & so many other freedoms that are taken for granted every day. I do not like to wear dresses. But every day I am considering the freedom more and more, to be able to choose whether I like wearing a dress or not. This adventure is so much more than just a dress even after just 8 days of participation. It is an awakening to a world that is in need. It is an awakening I needed.
Will you help? Here is a link to my donation site. If you are unable to give check out the IJM website and learn more about the very real tragedy of modern day human trafficking. It is clear and present danger to many around the world. Do not hold blind eyes to it any longer.
And because I am wearing dresses all month…here is today’s picture: