Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Dog Eat Dog World

Thirty-two people shot and killed by angry student, dozens more injured. 83 dogs rescued from deplorable conditions in North Dakota puppy mill. These events may not have the same tragic weight for all but they do have one similarity that is the real tragedy. Someone knew something before things went beyond control, yet the carnage occurred anyway.

When events like this occur it seems that the first call to action is for more laws. But laws don't really change human behavior, do they? Especially when the law breaker is incapable of abiding by them due to mental illness or poor health. The only thing that has any hope of preventing such tragedies is for other people to get involved. It requires patience. It requires determination and ongoing attention. But most of all, it requires butting our nose in to others personal lives, over and over and over again, if necessary. And that's icky. It's much easier to just pass a law and we can all feel better that we did something.

These events are a call to action to raise the bar above the minimum standard of behavior set by our laws. Look around you. Every one of us knows someone who is hurting. Reach out, find the lovable feature or behavior that you like in that person, and reward it over and over and over again with your friendship, your loyalty, and your love. There is no greater click and treat than that. And it could be the only thing that keeps the hurt from lashing out and spreading pain like some rampant virus to which there is no cure.

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