By Barbara Morris
More and more I read about animals being used to help mankind. I learned about that long ago when they became an important part of my very earliest years. Each little or big creature whether a kitten, puppy, bird, horse, squirrel, turtle or mouse is fascinating to watch, to learn about and to admire.
Who would not applaud the dogs who did search and recovery work at the World Trade Center and other disasters? Who would not praise a hospital rehabilitation facility that provides beautiful fish tanks, landscaped with plants and interesting rocks to keep colorful striped or spotted inhabitants of the waters entertaining recovering patients?
One of the things that I believe makes many humans appreciate these gifts from God is that each in its own way, is honest. Each one is, more or less, true to the nature of its own species. Dogs and cats have even been known to stir patients who have been comatose for long periods of time. Some, of course, are not approachable, but that too is part of nature’s way.
We are taught that man has dominion over the animals and that even the least sparrow should have its place here. Sometimes I think that the animals are doing “their things” better than we humans who are supposed to be civilized and law-abiding. I recently heard of a married couple who sold the home and car of his parents when his parents went on a trip. The parents returned and found they had nothing left but a crooked son and daughter-in-law, who are now both in jail.
Our family had a friend who was ill and nearing retirement age after spending his entire working life establishing a thriving business with the best friend he had since his boyhood. He went into his office one day and discovered his “best friend” had cleaned out the entire place — money, records, everything — and had disappeared. Our friend never recovered.
Unfortunately for all of us, even those deeply involved in various religious communities, we find things that are immensely troubling. It seems that, in too many places, people wear false faces, so to speak.
Judas comes to mind too often. We try to think of excuses for them – they are in some kind of need; they are too young or they are too old; they feel unloved or jealous. Who knows why someone begs for help and then betrays the helper? Why do they betray a trust? I just cannot imagine because I feel when someone trusts another person, that is an honor that should be appreciated and upheld.
They say there is honor among thieves. I don’t happen to believe that. There was certainly no honor when a list of people falsified records to claim a share of money meant for victims of the World Trade Center disaster. A thief is a thief, whether through fraud such as that, or pleading emergency funds from “a friend” without any intent of repayment.
Copying from someone else’s work, (yes, even homework), is also theft not deserving of credit. One might think, when reading this, that there are a lot of people in the world who need reforming. I think everyone can improve in some way or another. The trouble is, I'm afraid, there are some who are so intent on climbing onto their pedestals that they will be blinded by so many flashing publicity lights and won't be able to see themselves as others see them. And they won’t care either.
As bad as things seem sometimes, with faith there is still hope. We try to do our best, try to improve ourselves and try to live by that very valuable Golden Rule, hoping others who have somehow misplaced theirs will recover and polish it up a bit.
The Golden Rule is the best way to measure anyone, don’t you agree?