I hope [Willa] still thinks butterflies are beautiful. I think they are. We shouldn’t think for a moment that just because their lives are short they shouldn’t be here…― Susan Meissner, As Bright as Heaven
Today I stepped out of my house not feeling my best but determined to not stay in and be sick. if i was going to be sick I would distract myself from it. So out I went slowly with the sun threatening to burn me alive. It was a hot day after days of rain. As I walked I saw a really beautiful white mixed dog, lively and bouncing around good-natured. His owners were nearby also venturing out enjoying his antics. As I walked he came up behind me and I wondered why he did move ahead of me. I realized he was waiting on me to find my way around the craters of water that are suppose to be puddles before he moved ahead. I thought to myself, “what a good-natured dog”. His manners was confirmed when someone approached the spot he was about to occupy and he stopped to let him pass. All that was missing from the scene was a cool breeze and birds chirping near by.
I got onto the main road, having forgotten the dog because I was on the lookout for a taxi – why can’t you ever see one coming when you’re feeling your worst? Preoccupied with this sorry state of affairs, it took me a few extra seconds to registered a loud thud. But when I did and turned around, I saw a really small, really low car driving down menacingly on something in the middle of the road. Before I could fully register that it was my white friend, he had been viciously consumed and dragged to death beneath that small, seemingly harmless car. When the car spit him out, he was no longer white, full of life and good-natured. He was just dead. Dead with its head raised in silent appeal trying to reclaim life that had already left it. I stood in shock at the vicious attack and tears filled my eyes. What was it about this animal that for the driver, who never slowed in his advance, made its life valueless? What is that thing within someone that make it so easy to disregard something so beautiful and so harmless, and transform it into something broken,reduced to a thing to be dragged and destroyed?
And it is even sadder, is that this treatment is not just meted out to animals that for some hold little value, but to people who they feel do not matter. Live is a gift that we should treasure; the lives of others is just as precious and necessary as our own, and to value only your life and those close to you, is to say that this gift only belongs to a few and the others are just living on borrowed time. That dog brought so much laughter and joy to the persons who owned him. He brought comfort and gave them a sense of purpose. As I looked at the little boy who witnessed the murder of his dog, I mourned not only for his dog but for another removed chip of his innocence. I mourned bitterly for him having to come face to face with a harsh truth, for some not every life matters enough to care about them, to try and protect them. Too often we leave people along the wayside to pursue our goals, never caring enough to make sure that they made it to the other side. Your life matters, my life matters and we should do everything we can to make sure we never forget our duty is to help and build each other, so we can fully be present in our today.