Monday nights I take part in a Twitter Chat called #petchat. As you can guess, we talk about all things pet. Every week our amazing hostess gives us a topic for discussion. It is a jumping off point, and from there many of us just play catch up with our favorite Anipals. This week, being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we discussed our dreams for animals.
*For anyone reading this who is not immediately an animal person. There is absolutely no disrespect for Dr. King or the cause of racial equality. Dr. King’s message of peace, equality and love are more important now than ever. There are so many other causes that can benefit from Dr. King’s message though, one of them being the plight of animal cruelty and over population. Studies and time have shown that the treatment of animals and humans are intricately linked. We are all in this life together and my goal is to make it a better place for ALL living beings.*
We discussed our dreams-an end to animal cruelty, an end to pet over population, a safe haven for senior pets when their owners are unable to care for them, reform to the animal control systems around the country, unconditional love for all animals because it would help lead to world peace. And I said, because I am that kind of person, that we cannot just dream. Change doesn’t happen by dreaming. Change happens with action. I hate the cliche motivational meme you frequently see “Dreams’ only work as hard as you do.” However, there is truth to it. If you don’t work towards making something happen, it won’t happen.
Several others then chimed in saying yes, we are hopefully all volunteering for a rescue group or some organization that works to help animals. And I started to feel guilty. Because I am not. Then someone said ” Lots of us are doing lots of small things over and over again, day by day by day” and I loved it. Because it is true. It is how any change is made. Slowly. Doing the same thing over and over, day after day after day. And I loved it because it doesn’t strictly involve being in animal rescue. It means caring for feral cats, educating people about the importance of spaying/neutering, proper health care for their cats, and the truth about declawing. It involves giving what money you can to your favorite rescue organization when you can’t give your time.
I was reminded that even the littlest actions can make a difference over time. The Grand Canyon was carved by a small, steady stream of water. The Colorado River did not start out a river, it started a few small drops of water. Over centuries it carved one of the most amazing natural wonders in the world. The same goes for any change. Hopefully ending pet over population and animal cruelty (as well as racism and injustice) will not take eons. Either way, whether it takes eons (though I don’t think we have eons) or just decades, change comes gradually. There is no overnight change. At least not lasting one.
All we can do is dream and work towards our dreams, whatever they are. And don’t forget to take care of yourself. While it is true that Dreams don’t work if you don’t, it is also true you can’t give from an empty cup.