Lately, I have been wondering about my career choices and what I am truly passionate about. Today, while reading "Life of Pi", I realized that the care of both animals and children matters a great deal to me. However, I think that animals would be at the top of my list, and before someone starts a whole animal versus human debate, I would like to explain myself.
Does it matter how children are raised? Absolutely. When I consider having children of my own someday, I'll admit to being afraid of being a poor parent; not for any particular reason, but because it is a huge responsibility which I take seriously. At work, I see the results of not just poor parenting, but neglectful, abusive- really, an abhorrent lack of parenting. It's sickening. I do my best to remind myself that these adolescents I work with are generally the product of having no one to care about them and growing up in an environment that fosters their negative behaviors rather than teaching them appropriate ways to live in society. It is easy to become passionately angry with their parents and society, and again I remind myself that the parents likely come from situations that are the same or worse as the clients I see, but perhaps they didn't get the chance to go to a treatment facility, to receive help.
Where is the accountable party, then? If these cycles of abuse and neglect aren't stopped... whose fault is that? I realize that this need to blame someone or something for problems is normal, but it feels...I need someone to blame or I feel powerless. If I can identify that so-and-so fucked up, then the lines are drawn and there is a clear 'enemy,' someone to work against or to help. It's not that simple, however.
I believe that everyone should be held responsible for who they are and the choices they make once they are an adult. I have to believe that everyone has a chance to better themselves. It may be a tiny window of opportunity, it might be incredibly hard to see it or to follow that shred of hope, but it has to be there. If someone doesn't want to continue the cycle of bad choices and have a healthy life, there are options. It's the age of technology and there are so many organizations out there to help. Heck, step into the library and, if you don't know how to use the computer, ask the librarian for help. Look up parenting classes, housing assistance, there are even agencies to help with job placement including career planning, resume writing, interviewing skills, etc.
And that's why I am more passionate about animals. People usually get the chance to grow up, get help, and better themselves. They can attend therapy, and if they so choose, move to a completely foreign place and get a fresh start. People have the ability to choose. Animals do not.
Animals are stuck with who picked them up and has decided to keep them. I just made kissy sounds at one of my cats, and he ran across the room to me, sat down, and started purring. I didn't even have to touch him.
Animals are wonderful creatures, and can teach us humans so much if we are only willing to learn. How many people do you know would be happy to run across the room to you and sit next to you? No conversation, no touching, just sit there and be happy? Hopefully more than I can think of. I think a true friend is someone you can sit next to in silence without feeling the void.
Someone whose dog, cat, rabbit, what-have-you- someone whose animal loves them is a good person. Or can be a good person given the right circumstances.