A tribute to being human

I had a thought Tuesday morning while I was sitting in my rocker-recliner in the study looking out the window and watching the birds visit the feeder hanging from the porch ceiling.

Then I was reminded of that same thought again when I read a comment on my Self-Publishing Update from  Patti who writes A New Day Dawns. Patti wrote, “Most people know an Annie, or know someone else who is living your story. . .”

And she’s right. I hear it all the time from people who’ve read Dancing in Heaven: “Annie reminds me of my neighbor,” or “My sister-in-law has a child who has a serious condition that requires a lot of care,”  and so on. In my own life I’ve encountered people who are not only disabled in some way but who remind me closely of Annie, on a walk around the park, waiting in my car behind a school bus for the handicapped, at a special Christmas concert.

While I was gazing out my window, I wondered, what happens to the birds that are born with a disability, or the squirrels, or the deer? Surely human beings aren’t the only creatures for whom something goes awry during the procreation and gestation process. Surely there exist in the animal kingdom births of the blind, the lame, the brain injured. I think that’s probably true.

And then I realized one more thing that makes human beings so special. We take care of others who are challenged in some way to make it on their own. We not only take care of them, as a human society we strive to find better ways and means of enabling independence by inventing all sorts of speech, hearing, mobility, and just basic life sustenance aids.

I don’t know what happens to the unfortunate bird that is born unable to fly, the squirrel that can’t walk, or the deer that can’t see. But I have a pretty good idea.

So when Patti says, “Most people know an Annie,” let’s see it as the great tribute to human nature, or perhaps human nurture, that it is.

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14 thoughts on “A tribute to being human”

  1. I haven’t had the opportunity to read “Dancing in Heaven.” Since the day my husband had the seizure and subsequent massive stroke, burdens to be added to his Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart condition, I stopped reading books, except the Bible. I had purchased a Kindle a month or so before his stroke and was reading one book after another, until that day. Right in the middle of the book I was reading at the time, I stopped. I will read for pleasure and enlightenment again, when time allows. I look forward to reading “Dancing in Heaven.”

    May I add to Patti’s observation my own experience. I had a close friend in my youth. She had a baby that came down with encephalitis. Her brain swelled and caused her extensive brain damage. My friend and I both moved from our childhood states and have lost track of one another. Her life was dramatically changed when this tragedy occurred. She rose to the challenge, and I learned a lot during the years of watching her struggle, helping her at times with physical therapies, but mostly by pondering and seeking to understand why such things happen. (No, I don’t have the answers.)

    It’s taken years for me to realize that some of the blessings we receive from heaven bitterly grieve us. Annie was a blessing that came with sorrow. Recognizing the blessing that came with the burden is a blessing in itself. Thank you for sharing Annie with us, Christine.

    1. You have your hands full, I know. I admire you for the grace and fortitude with which you deal with the challenges you are faced with.

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I suspect you will see similarities with your own experience and that of your friend, when you read Dancing in Heaven.

      You have expressed it so well when you say that “some of the blessings we receive from heaven bitterly grieve us.” I know you speak here from personal experience.

      You are an inspiration.

  2. You are so right, Christine. We humans do take care of one another. When I sift through what really matters most in this life, the wheat that is left is to care for another. Great post!

    1. Thanks, JoDee. It’s sort of obvious, but then we see a situation where the human nurture isn’t working. We are after all, members of the animal kingdom. I don’t know whether human beings were always this way from the beginnings of time, or learned to be this way through civilization and religion.

  3. Well said. If we recognize that we are all members of the same family, we see the world as an “us” rather than a “them.” And, if we go one step further, and we see that we are really one being, one life force, there is no separation between people or any other form of life. Life is life. When we honor and care for others, we honor and care for the world.

  4. It’s true that we all know someone who is “like” Annie in one way or another. I think that’s part of what make her story so powerful. And if we don’t know another person like Annie, we identify some part of ourselves that is like her, some part that is less able, more silent than we would like, maybe hurt, maybe wounded.

    About disabled animals– I don’t know if you happened to see the video I posted several posts back about Oskar the blind kitten. If not, you might find that it moves you.

    Hugs,
    Kathy

  5. It’s empowering to read memoirs and testimonies of people who have lived through hardship in one form or another. We are encouraged that someone else faced this and came out on the other side of it. Annie’s story is a story of love, and hope, and everyone needs that.

    Thanks for sharing the visitor on your feeder. 🙂

    1. I like reading memoirs. I think we all share our stories in one form or the other. It does help us to tell and often others to hear. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I think humanity grew into that over time. That’s not to say animals are incapable of feeling a loss- watch a herd of elephants when one of them dies, for example- but animals as a whole have to occupy much of their time with getting enough food in a given day that they can’t be as nurturing as humans can be.

    1. I agree that we grew to be that way over time. I’ve read that geese will not leave someone behind. If a goose has to land, or can’t keep up, another one stays with it until either they can catch back up, or the weak goose dies. A nice thought from the animal kingdom.

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