Sometimes, opinions are solicited about the budget crisis. I wish I could say that it is about us, the people, or even about the budget. Truthfully, I don't think it is about either. Power plays and political moves have no one in mind but the narcissists who play the game. Social Security checks and veterans be damned. We've got to make sure which party looks bad to the American public.
In case you might think that such poly-ticking is confined to Washington, we have our own backyard brand of it right here in Podunk, Kentucky. Although a local wildlife rescue and educational center is zoned agricultural and conservation, although the director cleared her plans with neighbors and zoning before moving into a subdivision, she is being cited for zoning and home owners association restrictions that the rescue organization says do not mention the rehabilitation of wildlife. They think they are right and they aim to shut her down. It is possible they know the right people to do so, and perhaps it all comes down to that. Not what makes this planet a better place and preserves a little more of our humanity, but who is right, dammit.
Days old baby squirrel
Who will we call when we find an injured or abandoned critter? We can't legally keep it or rehab it. Animal writhing on the street in pain? Look the other way, for no one in the county will help. Tell your kids that. Compassion for animals? Out the window. But let me tell you, I hope that the children who are NOT taught compassion for living things are the ones who change YOUR diaper and feed you, Mr. Zoning and Mr. Home Owners Association, when you are in the nursing home.
You see, how we treat the smallest of creatures helps us to learn to see the bigger picture. My animals, they cost a lot to keep. They take a lot of work. But through our animals, my children have learned responsibility, compassion, perseverance, the pain of loss, both the need to let animals be true to their nature and loving yet letting go, of caring for those around us, of compromise. All this so that when confronted with a bigger life changing event, they've already understood what this means on a smaller scale, have already learned they can deal with it and live through it.
This center, it can teach children how to understand the world and those that inhabit it. The compassion for animals translates to compassion for humans. If you think it doesn't, and you want to take that chance, well then, we'll see who's right in the end.
P.S. I visited "Phyllis", the now named and recuperating groundhog. She has finished her medication and is recovering nicely. She declined to smile for the camera, and slept for most of my visit. There are hopes for her eventual release.