March 8, 2007

Vegan Thought for the Day

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:55 pm by nevavegan

It’s simple and everyone already knows it, but sometimes I like to remind myself.

Extending compassion is never limiting. I don’t care less about people because I care about animals. Instead I’m living with the idea that we’re all connected and we’re all worthy of compassion. I still cry over the fact that children are needlessly starving all over the world while the food that could save their lives rots in warehouses. And I cry because all around me species are blinking out of existence. And I see those things as deeply connected.

In the past some people have attacked me (verbally, not physically) for spending too much time on animal issues. “Why aren’t you helping the poor?” they demand.

The truth is that work and family illnesses have kept me pretty preoccupied lately, but I still feel like I try to help in all kinds of ways. I no longer volunteer in a hospital with the long term residents, but I pitch those programs and write to advocate compassion for the disabled and severely ill. I no longer volunteer teaching writing to women in prison, but I’d like to do that again one day, and I do try to remind people whenever I can of how issues of poverty and addiction contribute to epidemic of imprisonment in this country.

The truth is that we all make decisions about how we are going to live our lives. I’m not a wealthy person, but I try to donate what I’m able. I save money in other ways. I don’t spend a lot of money on clothing, and I’ve NEVER had my hair professionally cut or styled. I also got married in 10 minutes at the courthouse in my work clothes–no big expensive wedding to-do for us. I’m not judging anyone who does do those things of course (some hair is less cooperative than other hair for one thing). For some people the thought of doing without a wedding would be heartbreaking, but it was something I could give up so I did. I’ve had to try to choose what things keep me sane and working on my art is one of those things and watching a good sci-fi show with my husband is another. I want to do good things, but I realize that I can’t always do nothing but good things.

But here’s an encouraging thought: Nobody needs to be a saint. You don’t have to do everything perfectly tomorrow, try just doing one or two good things. I don’t need to do everything, I just need to do a few things and do them well. The first step is just feeling it–reaching out with love and compassion toward all creation. Just for a moment don’t worry if the homeless do enough to look after themselves, or if animals are intelligent enough to matter. Don’t obsess over whether those you send this love out to deserve it or not. Just feel the compassion and love and know how much better the world would be if everyone gave that benefit of the doubt to people, to animals, to the earth.

If you want a world filled with compassion and kindness then embody it, become it, and pass it along.

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1 Comment »

  1. lornadoone said,

    But here’s an encouraging thought: Nobody needs to be a saint. You don’t have to do everything perfectly tomorrow, try just doing one or two good things.

    This has so much to do with why I started my second blog.


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