This Dark Night
“This Dark Night Always Surrenders To The Morning Light”
This Dark Night – It is 2014 and the world is enduring in a very bleak time. I believe that we are at a cross-roads – people (not governments) must decide who we are and what we want to be. If the current state of humanity and our planet reflects the best that we can be – we are in serious trouble.
Our planet is war torn – hatred is rampant – refugees by the millions have had their homes torn away from them – our environment is failing – climate change has advanced to a possible point of no return – we are decimating entire species with our greed, corruption and evil – our oceans are dying – child slavery is flourishing – human sex trafficking has become an accepted norm – honour killings go unpunished – guns are everywhere – and oblivious in our bubble wrapped world – we sleep on and on and on!
I have been passionately involved with animal activism for a number of years. Two years ago I was struggling with a profound sense of desperation at the hopelessness I was feeling. The injustice of horrific cruelty – the fact that consequences were mostly missing – and that people just didn’t seem to care filled me with such anger that I felt completely overwhelmed and defeated. I needed to do something. My animal awareness blog – A Beating Heart – was born from that combination of rage and sadness.
I admit to being one of those often judging others and I have freely tossed around condemnation, requests for Karma to gut the lives of the perpetrators and more than my fair share of F-bombs. I could not get my head around skinning animals alive – gutting pregnant cows – poaching the most endangered animals on earth – dogs left outside to freeze to death in the winter and to perish in hot cars in the summer – animal sacrifice in the name of religion – the fur industry – Tajii and the Faroe Islands – bull, dog and stallion fighting – bear bile farms – crush and torture films – the cull of America’s wild horses. It just went on and on and on!
And all around me people just skipped along with their busy little lives. I watched hundreds of videos – slaughter houses – dog fights – fur farm killings – animals set on fire – donkeys kicked off mountains – factory farming cruelty – baby elephant breaking films – animals being dragged behind speeding cars and motorcycles – the illegal dog trade in Asian countries – crush videos – religious sacrifice events and countless animal abuse clips. The building anger and sense of injustice that I felt knew no bounds. I am sure that most animal advocates go through this roller coaster of emotions.
I attended the World Animal Day March in Toronto on October 4, 2014. It was uplifting – with so many caring people – and I came away feeling hopeful. Then on Sunday I shared a picture of an abandoned dog in a shelter somewhere in the USA. Her name was listed as Coco. I shared her photo and asked for an angel to step forward to help her. A lot of good people shared her picture – and somehow behind the scenes magic was happening – because this is Coco – removed from the kill shelter – on her freedom ride to safety!
I started to cry and I couldn’t stop. This sadness was clearly not about Coco. I steel myself daily and do not shed tears for the thousands of dogs – just like Coco – who never make it out of the kill shelters all over the world. I thought about my involvement with animal advocacy and the high cost it has been having on my heart and soul.
It was clearly time for a glass of wine. Ten minutes later with said spirits in hand – I sat down with my fur boys – closed my eyes and asked whatever universal force that exists (I am not religious) to give me some guidance on remaining upright on this slippery slope. An hour later the words “This Dark Night” – appeared in my mind – a clear and very present message – but with no context. It meant nothing to me at first and was more than a little annoying. But as I mulled it over – I realized that I have become so aware of the darkness that faces animals – that I have not been looking at or for the light. Coco – and every animal that is helped by caring people – that is the counterpoint – that is the light.
So my way forward must be to acknowledge the sadness and pain of what humans do to animals – but to give equal or greater measure to the positive things that people are doing globally. Every march or protest – every petition – animal rescued – kindness extended – time volunteered – article written – film made – idea shared – law passed – old notion challenged – circus closed or sanctuary opened. This is want matters. This energy – that of light and love is what will challenge the grim face of evil.
We cannot help every animal – but for those that we save – their lives change in an instant. Kindness and compassion are contagious – they light up rooms and transform lives. When enough people have awakened to light – the world will change. The old models of greed – influence peddling – buying elections – cruelty – corruption and the mindless accumulation of things – regardless of the cost or the suffering – will seem as outdated as running boards on cars.
It is not too late for humanity. It is not too late for our planet – it is not too late for us to learn the incredible lessons that animals are so eager to teach us. Light and love change everything. There is nothing more powerful. While it may not seem so now – for every person who opens his or her consciousness – another star fades in the waning night. The warmth of the sun will soon prevail – darkness will always succumb to the light.
“This Dark Night Always Surrenders To The Morning Light”.