I have stopped blogging. At some point I just realized that I have nothing to say that can be defined as “thought provoking” or “awe-inspiring” or even “adding value” So I just stopped. Off course I still stalk my favourite blogs; thinking about what is said, commenting here and there when I feel I can contribute or have something relevant to say, which really is incredibly rare. The reasons for this lack of comments and blogs are many; however one of these reasons will become apparent in my response to my internet friend Nadine’s latest blog post, A Day at the Circus.
Reading it had me feeling a little guilty; wow I certainly do not protest or say much about anything, even when I do feel strongly about it. I grump on my Facebook in snooty, snide comments and passive aggressive battles that really is only fought in my head. You know that “Ha! Take that you hypocritical Fucktard. Yes this passive aggressive (nameless) snootiness is just for you!” The truth is that the intended “victim” never gets to actually read it, the rare occasions they do they are unaware it is aimed at them, and therefore by definition achieves nothing. The truth is, even when I have something to say, I am unable to translate it into anything intelligible. My problem is that there is just too much to consider. I see far too many sides… for goodness sake I empathise with villains as well! I find myself thinking there must be a way for this misunderstanding to be resolved, the hero just needs to understand what has made the villain act this way.
All this world needs is more communication. I feel so strongly about this, and like the hypocrite I am, I just shut up about it. Why? Well, because somewhere in the world someone has a very, very good reason for feeling differently about it. I need to respect what they have learnt, the journey they are taking and why they have made the choices they have.
Reading about the big cats show, and how the “evil diabolical fanatical vegans” or whatever attempted insult someone is thinking out now are trying to “kidnap them from their masters” or the “villainous-yes-to-animal-cruelty-whip-wielders” are nothing more than slavers, brought back my own very painful memories of my very first circus. I never went to a circus as a child, and when my daughter Casey heard about the Circus (I am almost certain it wasn’t McLarens but for the life of me I simply can’t remember which circus it was) having tigers (which for those who do not know, I absolutely LOVE tigers. Naturally Casey, who worships all animals equally and holds a special place in her heart for all things “kitty’ was begging to go. Excited beyond belief we finally took our seats and whilst I was saddened at seeing those majestic animals reduced to party tricks, and flinched each time the whip cracked, I was still staring at their graceful gorgeousness in slack-jawed awe.
The one tiger came walking out and it was immediately apparent to me that the tiger was SO not feeling the show. He was grumpy, growled at the tamer, snapped at him, sorrowfully stuck his head under the chin of the lion who left his spot to console him. It was also apparent that every other big cat was aware that something wasn’t right with the tiger, they seemed to have the need to go to him, console him, and the clear bond of concern between the animals were so palpable that Casey and I were reduced to empathetic tears, resulting in both of us forswearing the circus forever. The tamer, as opposed to the animals’ concern, did not appear concerned at all, rather forcing the animals to remember their tricks and following his strict rules.
Now, I do understand he has a job to do, that the animals also understand their role (clearly they have practiced this enough to know) and I do not wish to imply that he does not have some sort of a bond with the animals. (see how my mind works? Every side has a story right?)
So Nadine suggested a way that this all should have been addressed, and partially I couldn’t agree more. I have said, communication; all the world needs is more communication; well perhaps I should rephrase that. Better communication. We certainly communicate more than we should about absolute nonsense and we are usually too busy listening with the intention to reply, rather than the intention to understand, because after all, we all, individually, should come first. We say we don’t mean it that way, and we don’t, but we all are the hero of our own stories. In our little worlds, that which affects US is the world. I am not saying you are selfish. I am saying we all are.
The problem with people is that we all tend to forget that people, as a rule, all have emotions. The truth as I see it; in real life, there are not really, truly any villains. There are people who have been taught to hate/disrespect and act accordingly; there are people who truly know no better due to various (medical/psychological/educational/etc) reasons. The truth is, if any of us were in a similar position with a similar background, we could never know for sure, whether we ourselves would have made similar choices.
I choose to believe that I would have, after all who we are today is fundamentally who we have always been, but we were taught certain things. The fact of the matter remains, who I am today, is due to the culmination of my life experiences, and if those change, who I am today would also have changed. How significantly I wonder?
There is no devil that lives inside us. We all have a great capacity for love and kindness, and a great capacity for hate and cruelty. We are all the animal who when pushed into a scary corner and threatened can lash back with the greatest vengeance and evil the world has ever known, just as we all are that little girl or boy, napping in the safety of mommy’s arms, dreaming of wonderful things.
All I can say with certainty is that we all have our reasons, I do not have to understand it, but I do need to respect it. I do not need to insult them (pfft off course I call them names, what do you think I am, a saint?)I simply need to attempt to communicate and listen. Ideally, I would like others to do the same. When we fail due to our emotional weight, we need to step back and learn from it, and then try again.
What I hope is that this specific situation can be addressed calmly and that Nadine’s suggestion will reach the McLaren Circus circles so that they can take it to heart, and remember that we are all people, we are not super villains. Talk about it, open up, work with the animal activists in finding the perfect balance, even if it takes time. Animal activists, the same applies to you. Remember that change cannot happen overnight, the best way to resolve it is to take little steps, and to achieve anything that journey needs to be taken together. What I hope even more? That which has happened this past year in everyone’s life, can also be reassessed, perhaps with the intention to finally understand.