Earlier that same day, I had been playing with my puppy, and while I was pondering his sweet and playful personality, I thought of cows and other animals that are raised primarily for food, and wondered how their personalities might "magically" develop if someone were paying attention.
A year or so ago I debated with a friend who argued that animals are just as sentient and "soulful" as humans (I argued that humans have souls/are capable of relationship with God and animals do/are not). Since then I have come to have a little different view of nonhuman life. I still believe humans were created in the image of God, and as such, their lives take precedence over the lives of animals. But I think I consider animal life more precious than I used to. We share a world with them; our bodies operate the same way theirs do; and really, they do a lot for us. I'm not to the point of joining PETA yet, but maybe we should show more respect to our fellow earth-dwellers. Maybe even the vegetarians are onto something....
But you know, it's not the paper or trophy or statue itself that is special. It is the honor it represents. It is the fact that a person is being celebrated for some service or achievement...some contribution to life as someone else knows it here on this planet.
I saw several pictures or announcements for baby showers on Facebook this week. That, too, reminded me how people were getting together to celebrate a life - a life, moreover, that hasn't even arrived yet. The celebration represents the expectation of the joy that life will bring to his or her family and friends in the future, and the potential for, well, anything!
I'll go a little further with this thought.... There are times when I deal with feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness. (I do a lot better with that now; it used to be a huge issue for me.) Celebrations of me used to cause me great embarrassment. I hated being singled out for recognition, whether it be for academic awards ceremonies or birthday parties. I felt like I didn't deserve to be celebrated - it wasn't possible there was anything about me that would give anyone a reason to take a break out of their important, busy day and look my way.
Last week I talked a little bit about each life being equal in value to every other life. But I wonder how many people go through life without ever being recognized for anything good - no birthday celebrations, no awards, no cheap certificates of appreciation, no applause...nothing. Makes me wonder what I can do to bring a little celebration to the uncelebrated.
I'm going to give that some thought.
|My brother and me.|