Someone said to me last summer at burning man as I was trying to find a spiritual healing camp: “when will you be healed? When will it stop?”
It’s caused me to stop and think many times over the past eight months about this illusive search to heal and grow. Everytime I think I have been healed or stopped growing I think back to that question and smile. Because I can always heal more, I can always grow more and the answer is so clear to me in that respect. For me it’s one of life’s greatest journeys. It will never stop.
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending an event in the house of reverend Ingrid Scott about the topic of the white lions of South Africa. My mom had told me about them because Linda Tucker, the woman who wrote the book on the subject had spoken in Baltimore two weeks earlier. And my mother was so moved by it she knew I had to go.
I have always loved lions. There is no doubt about that. I have always revered their magnificence and beauty. I am a Leo after all and therefore saw the majestic beings as my personal symbol. But that is all I thought about them.
I didn’t think they could be endangered in such a severe way.
I didn’t think about how if the top of the food chain disappeared our entire ecosystem as we know it could disappear.
I didn’t think about their existence as being important to us all. Not just their symbol but their actual existence in the wild.
I’ve always been very clear where I wanted to help in the world – human rights, gay rights, women’s rights, racial issues, helping those who may not be afforded the same benefits as others. I never thought that helping animals could be the next step.
I never understood animal rights activitists because surely humans are what is important?! Surely we need to look after our own kind. What I missed is the fact that helping animals brings us to our most humble selves. In helping animals we are literally saving ourselves.
Since understanding this I almost feel I have a different view of the world. I feel more compassionate towards all species, not just my own. I feel more able to help then I ever have before and my vision feels more clear not less clear. I see that Animals rights activists see the bigger picture, not the smaller picture. In only focusing on ourselves we lose our future.
In order to secure a world for our children that exists and that is better, we must not forget the lions.
And the healing can never stop. It is never enough.