Day 468: I Will Love You No Matter What

There are many stories like this. A dog alerting people to a fire in the house. A dog staying by its dead friend next to the road for days. An elephant and dog being best friends. Dogs saving people from being hit by a car. Horses colicking when a herd mate dies. Cats sitting by sick, sad or birthing people and animals.

Events like these are not as rare as we may think. We tend to underestimate the nature of animals, because we only see them compared to how we see ourselves - we are always trying to impose our own nature onto them, so that when their actions do not match what we perceive to be emotional/caring actions then we simply dismiss them.

Animals show a true love - an unconditional love that we rarely show each other. No matter how abhorrent our deeds, they still look at us with adoration. What do we give them in return? We look down on them. We see them as being less worthy of life, happiness and the things we enjoy. We justify ourselves by saying that "animals do not want what we want, they do not feel the way we feel. I know what is best" when we haven't the slightest clue. We exploit them in their position of being completely at our mercy - we know that they depend upon us for their very survival.

We are wrong if we believe that only extreme acts of sacrifice on the part of an animal proves their true nature - they prove their nature every moment that they forgive us for who we are and love us anyway. If we want to learn how to be kinder and better people we should look to the animals.

Millions of animals give their lives every day so that we can have our Happy Meals. Do their actions not reflect the message of Jesus? Do animals not live the words of Jesus more thoroughly and completely than any human? What do we do when we see their kindness and forgiveness - we thank them by exploiting their kindness, mistaking it for meekness.

The meek shall inherit the Earth.

By the time we're through, there will be no meekness left. Is it possible to turn even the animals against us so completely that they would no longer be willing to forgive? There are some things that should not be forgiven, and each of us has participated in or allowed the continuation one of those things. Maybe if animals started hating us then we would not think quite so highly of ourselves - every time the adoring eyes of a pet stare at us we believe about ourselves that we are worth adoring and that who we choose to be and what we choose to accept is acceptable.