By: Hart Parris
My mom always told me that people don’t “mean” to be irresponsible; they are just uninformed
and unaware of how their actions might hurt others. So when I saw post after post after post
of people across Galveston County reporting on terrified animals cowering in their garage or
behind an abandoned building or under a bush in a field, I had to wonder how Irresponsible
it has become to shoot off fireworks in a place with so many stray/abandoned/loose/escaped
animals in the area.
Certainly, no one was meaning to frighten these poor animals. Did the ones that
had homes just happen to get out on the
worst possible night imaginable? Did their
owners not think about the possibility of
their beloved animals being traumatized by
a night full of explosions coming from the
night sky? And what about the ones without a home? Were they abandoned? Were
they born to a stray animal? So many
questions and so few answers. Nonetheless, New Year’s Eve was a terrible night
for far too many of God’s creatures and
somehow, some way, we are all a little bit
But how can that be? How can we be responsible for the actions of others? Well,
my mom had an explanation for that too.
My mother believed that how we conduct our lives serves as an example for others, even though we are unaware of it. If that is true then it stands to reason that being unaware is a dangerous thing and that brings us right back to the whole irresponsible theory. Apparently we are in danger of being uninformed and therefore unaware about a lot of things, most of the time. And if that weren’t confusing enough, she also added that it is not enough to just be more aware; we are obligated to question when we see something that “just should not be”…which is how she referred to anything that she saw as hurtful to God’s creations. Obligated. To question. We are supposed to question how this hurtful thing that “just should not be” …is. We are not to point fingers, lay blame, assume, accuse, or vilify anyone unless we understand the situation completely. That would be irresponsible. Mom was not interested in making things simple, that was for sure. All this complexity was to her, simply the way of things as they should be. So as I began to question why so many animals were starting the new year lost, terrified and alone, I was severely limited as to how I could react. Who is to say how these animals came to be in such a terrible situation? I really had no way of knowing. So what could I do to have some kind of impact on this thing that just should not be? Here is what I know. The problem is much larger than me and extends far beyond my reach. And certainly, this is not the only thing in this world that just should not be. I cannot rescue every animal and I cannot donate enough money to save them. I can bring it to the surface. I can give us all a chance to consider what might be done beyond what is already being done. I can refuse to buy an animal as long as there is one to rescue. I can talk about the importance of using a leash to protect an animal that is my responsibility. I can offer to help a neighbor with a broken fence so his animal cannot escape. I can call animal control when I see an animal that is wandering loose and I can ask pet owners how they keep their pets safe and I can share what I find out with my readers so that we can all be more aware, better informed and able through our conduct to eliminate this thing that just should not be.
By: Hart Parris