Rescue Journal

to err is human, to forgive is divine...i don't think so.

Carol  ·  Aug. 7, 2007

we have a responsibility in this life i think. a responsibility to do whatever it is we do with not only the very best effort but with honesty and insight too. the reasons that honesty and insight are so critical are to bring a reality to whatever it is that we have committed to and to help us to learn and use more care in what we do.

ripples in the pond. we can learn as much from our own mistakes as we can of others. alot of people probably don't know that many years ago, i put my youngest daughter at dangerous risk when i gave her the choice of going back to school or leaving home. she left. and i spent the next few years helping both her and myself overcome that choice. and we told every parent and teen in the world who watched tv about our mistakes so they wouldn't make the same. we also told them by sharing our story, that we were good decent people. just like them. and just like the kids and the parents of other street entrenched youth.

and i do the same here. saints is what it is by virtue of the decisions that i make. it is what it is because of the caring and the committment to give these animals a home. and homes are not perfect, and mistakes happen. and humans err.

and when humans err. sometimes bad things happen. dogs fight. cats slip out the door unseen. chickens or rabbits might be injured or killed. volunteers or visitors might be bitten or scratched.

and every single time something happens, it is my responsibility. whether i am there or not because i am the the person in charge.

it is up to me to have the safety things in place to protect both human and animal. it is up to me to ensure that everyone who lives here or comes here is safe at all times.

and since i choose to share the life at saints thru this blog, it is my responsibility to ensure i share all of the life here, not just the parts that are perfect.

saints is about real life and real rescue. others in rescue demand the respect and acknowledgement that this is not always easy, nor fun, and isn't some kind of never ending happy fairy tale. we are human and we err. i am human and i err...(sometimes alot)...and when i err, really bad things can happen.

in the big scheme of things, does the world care that a little chicken died yesterday because of my thoughtlessness and lack of care? of course not. but i do, and nicole does and john does and whoever else loved edna cares too. and edna cared too and so did her family. i saw how they cared as they surrounded her.

so it sucks to be a human who errs. here as a rescuer or somewhere else as a parent, or as an employee, or a friend.

it is not so much divine to forgive...i think it is better to remember all the mistakes and the pain they caused, learn something and then to try harder to do better. it is fine to forgive others, but never, ever forgive yourself.



lol...i like my hair keeps me on my toes. don't worry about me guys, it works well for me, the day i become complacent or start giving myself the ok to find excuses or to try shifting the blame off me, is the day i get out of rescue cuz that will be the day that i don't truly care anymore.


Carol, as much as I can imagine why you are feeling this way right now, you can't possibly go through life being that hard on yourself. how on earth can you ever accomplish anything if the punishment for doing something wrong is to never forgive yourself for it? how on earth could you ever learn anything that way?
Accidents happen, even the most horrible mistakes happen, the lesson is how to work through it, get past it (which would mean forgive yourself) and go on, thereby setting an example for others.
Maybe take these horrible accidents as opportunities to forgive yourself for mistakes that any human could make. I'm certain Edna has already forgiven you and the last word should belong to her!


So I guess asking you not to beat yourself up wasn't terribly successful.
If you were as harsh with the humans (family, friends, volunteers, employees, coworkers, adopters, those who surrender pets, neighbors, strangers.....) in your life as you are with yourself, you would be "the nasty, horrid woman who lives all alone in the purple house with all those animals". Nobody could possibly live up to the impossible stadards you set for yourself.
You are a human being with human frailties, human feelings, human needs and human imperfection. You are a normal human asked to do exceptional things, and you try your best every day to live up to your own sometimes unattainable standards, while dealing with the wants, needs, jealousies, and demands of others. Then there are the dozens and dozens of animals you give your heart and soul to every single day. You have feet of clay, Carol. You can only give that which you have to give, and although it hurts like hell, makes you angry and vulnerable, sometimes you cannot stop bad things from happening.
Edna's death is a horrible thing, and she is mourned by many. There is no such thing as "just a...." at SAINTS, all animals are valued, loved and respected for whichever species they are.
I know you will wear this loss as a hair shirt. I hope you will not be as cruel to yourself as I know you can be, and if you still feel the need to beat yourself black and blue, don't look to any of your friends to provide the stick.
I don't believe it is possible to forgive others their mistakes if you cannot learn to forgive yourself. You did not will this tragic event to happen. You would never knowingly put one of the SAINTS in harm's way. I am sorry Edna has died, and that Maudie was the one responsible, but blaming you never crossed my mind.