i think kindness, respect and finding value in others is universal. i don't buy that whole "the more people i meet, the more i like my dog" crap. you cannot be good with animals if you are not good with people, we are just another animal species. i think sometimes we are just lazy, or selfish, or just plain not nice, or in a bad mood and for some reason, animal people think this is ok when dealing with humans but not ok when dealing with animals. i think this happens to all of us. the trick is to be able to honestly see it. and really it is never ok to be unkind or unhelpful or short tempered or uncaring to any living creature. this is not to say that we don't sometimes hurt others either unintentionally or from a mistake, or from a lack of whatever inside us or in the meeting of our responsibilities or for many other reasons that are momentarily beyond our abilities. but it means we don't do it just because we can or because we don't care enough about the other not to hurt them if we could easily be helpful, or understanding or kind instead.
and it is such a fine line. i struggle constantly between my responsibilities to my own species and my responsibilities to the animals, and sometimes in meeting one need i fail another. there are times when i do things for others that i really don't feel like doing, and i resent it because i feel like i did it because i couldn't think of a way to get out of it. there are times when i can actually do a simple act of kindness for no other reason and no other reward then just because i can...those are my good days.
saints is built on respect, and kindness and finding value in all of us, human and animal alike. this doesn't mean that we don't sometimes drive each other crazy, or we don't irritate each other as we go about being who we are. it doesn't mean that the dogs or the cats, or that noisy spoiled little pig at dinner time doesn't sometimes combine to make a day pretty difficult and hard to get thru...it means that we recognize that no one is perfect, especially ourselves. and we give each other some room to be imperfect but still have value too.
there is a freedom in learning to accept the limitations and flaws around us because it also gives us the right to be flawed and have limitatations too. and i look at all the strengths and the gifts that we are blessed by being surrounded with at saints, from mo, to eva, to jean, to julie, to kathy and cathy to nicole to chris, to deb, to colleen to sheila to greg, to leila to john and cathie to erika to lynne 1 and lynn 2 to francesca and maria and zoe and ellen and even to me too, i think that is a whole big basket of blessings.
i was away from home most of yesterday and apparently it was a bit of a difficult day while i was gone. i just want everyone to know how deeply grateful the animals and i are that the difficult days are met and made it thru and tomorrow is always a fresh day to come. and yes the washing machine is finally fixed and working the way it is supposed too (thx lynn for taking 6 garbage bags of stinky laundry home when you looked about ready to die from the flu, that went WAY above and beyond!)...i had a great day today, no workman letting animals loose, no laundry and a half hour nap on the couch!