Some children grow up with the idea that it’s okay to kill things—just about anything but their own family. They catch bees in a jar, torture them, and never once think that this is life! They step on bugs, catch frogs and even badger animals without most parents ever saying a word. Perhaps, they never see this happening. However, they are never taught that life matters, whatever the form it takes.
So, when these same children grow up to kill things that they feel don’t matter or are causing them trouble, the neighbors and onlookers say, “He was never that kind of kid! She was always kind!” Was she?
She or he was always that kind of child, because that child was never taught otherwise.
Okay, I’m not blaming parents; I’m blaming “the preverbal village,” in general. However, a large part of the responsibility becomes the parents portion to deal with since they did bring children into the world. But parents must be awake enough to understand themselves so that they can teach a child. This is where society feeds us a bunch of crap by all of the trash and commercials we watch on television and simply believe because we are told to. I guarantee if you show a most people a MacDonald’s commercial with a triple quarter pounder 10x a day; that same person will want the burger and want it supersized.
So, how do we—as a society—begin to change the template of “what sentient beings matter?” This is the huge question today that we must answer to stop the endemic crime spree in schools and in on today’s streets. Is it the guns? or is it the minds?
I believe that guns shouldn’t be available, yes. No question here about that. But guns have to have a hand on them to shoot someone. So, we are back to what matters, who matters? We have no room in society for prejudice, but do we have room for people to choose to kill things simply because they are not like themselves? Are we not teaching prejudice when we say to a child, it’s okay to kill a cow, but not a dog? Are we not teaching the same subconscious message of prejudice?
We can’t choose which lives matter by intelligence or beauty. What about those children who are born deformed or with Downs Syndrome, for instance? What about some animals that are not so pretty, but very very intelligent, like pigs? What about insects that can build intricate castles beneath the earth and carry 50x their weight, like ants? Are any of these creatures worthy of being stepped on or murdered—just because?
We have a “me, too” movement going on that is trying to change the message about women in the workforce and how rethink the treatment of women in all areas of life. I believe that this movement is intrinsically for all of us, though. “Me, too! I’m old. I’m overweight. I’m devalued because I’m a certain color. I’m gay or transgender. “All of us matter!
Now, what about people who can’t speak for themselves, the mute or the ones who are too sick to talk? Do they deserve an advocate who will speak up for them? Of course, they do.
How about animals, like dogs or pets that we love but can’t speak for themselves. Should they be challenged with baseball bats by our neighbors because they dared to cross a property line? Of course, not.
Then, why are we drawing so many lines in the sand about who and what should be valuable in this world? Let’s make a concerted effort today to look at all things, people, and sentient beings as valuable—simply because they are!