WHEN ‘LOVE’ IS NOT ENOUGH
In our 21st Century world we “love” everything. To wit, “She loves the Rolling Stones. He loves chocolate. They love to travel. I love my new car.” Indeed, it is difficult to go for even a 24 hour period without hearing someone describe his or her relationship with any kind of animal, mineral or vegetable in terms of ‘love’.
Here at The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada – and this is no surprise – we can expect to hear or read at least once in any day how much a person loves donkeys. Of course, one appreciates the good intentions behind the use of the expression but unfortunately, ‘loving’ has become so commonplace that its impact is now quite negligible.
And therein lies the rub because our relationships with and responsibilities to the other animals on this planet are in fact so much more serious and profound. Today, it is the case that the impact of human behaviour shapes, controls and constricts the lives of all other creatures. This is an awe-some fact, one that urges us to revisit our everyday expressions.
Rather than saying that we ‘love’ donkeys, I suggest that we say that we ‘respect’ them. Now, there is a verb that brings with it a sense of particular worth, of value.
When we respect, we esteem. When we respect, we recognize inherent positive qualities. When we repect, we acknowledge our part and responsibilities in a relationship. When we respect a being, we value its life. It is somehow reprehensible to neglect or abuse that which you respect.
Sandra Pady, Founder