i struggle with so many things in rescue...my responsibility to the animals is always first and foremost..but then there is saints itself and it too has needs to remain healthy and move forward.
and this is true of any organization be it business or of a charitable persuasion. and while i can direct and control myself and my own actions...the rest of the human component remains a bit of a gamble.
we have been burnt a few times in the past now i try to avoid us getting burnt in the future.
so what do we do?
i think we surround ourselves with the very best people, we learn to not only recognize value, but are clear on what values are important. For me they are committment, honesty, altruism, insight, courage and caution, critical thinking and problem solving skills, pure, simple common sense with a good dose of rational dedication to justice. These are the character strengths that will see SAINTS safely into the future. And ultimately nurture and protect the vulnerable animals we all hold so dear.
So many rescues go by the wayside due to infighting, lack of vision, politics, ego's, slippery ethics to name a few..basically an inability to forge a strong and trustworthy foundation to protect it not only in the present but also into the future.
in this regard i count myself, the animals and saints as a whole as incredibly lucky. over the years we have gathered an incredible group of people. some have been here since the beginning, others have joined us along the way. all of us have grown into better people as we met each and every challenge of each new day.
but the one thing that still worries me is myself and my mental and emotional strength. its not that i am super human..or maybe sub human. i have felt every bruise, every beating, every wound inflicted from the outside or inflicted by myself. i have shed more tears, bled from my soul more often than i care to count. i have accepted it all, the good and the bad and sometimes even the truly awful and i still get up.
i wouldn't know how not to...that's how much this place and these animals mean...they mean far more to me than me.
now having said this and knowing how difficult it has been some days to carry on..to keep moving forward..to face the next victory or defeat...to live and know that while i am not worthy...that i am truly not good enough and still keep going....trying to do the best that i can, even when i know i haven't...how do i expect others to do the same? because the fact of the matter is..rescue is not all that pretty, it certainly is not much fun...it is full of second thoughts and painful self doubt. in many ways caring for saints is the same as parenting...except your kids never actually ever grow up.
do you understand what this means? that saints has to be strong enough to safely and with integrity weather whatever comes... with or without me? eventually the buck will not stop here when i am gone.
so where will it stop?
does it scare you?
it should because it fucking terrifies me.
i trust in us individually but individually will soon not be enough. saints has to build strong and immovable walls of all of us holding each others hands, standing beside our animals now and in the future. not to protect them from the fickle fingers of fate...but to protect them from ourselves. because if we break the chains of solid values that bind us in nurturing our animal friends, in respecting them, protecting them...then they are lost.
so i am asking, all of us who love this place and her animals with all of our hearts...how do we build the new and improved saints castle walls?
can we become one and do it together?