THOUGHT: why is so hard to be soft?
I’m always surprised by the fact that when I tell people in the charity world I’m spending a year helping animals they respond by saying ‘Oh, how wonderful. Lucky you!’
This is not my feeling at all. My heart sinks as quickly as their smile spreads. Maybe I should be more positive, but I’m not.As I plan my next trip to rescue dogs from the dust or snails from the mud or ducks from the balcony my soul feels heavy. And it’s not because I can’t face the suffering. It’s because, I think, I’m lazy and scared.
I tell you this, not to moan or for sympathy, but purely as a reflection on why it is that perhaps more people don’t help. I care hugely about animals but really I WOULD RATHER NOT HELP. I would much rather sit in a sofa. Can I help from my sofa, can I?
NO! YOU MORAL CRIPPLE, YOU CAN’T!!
So why am I doing this project?
It’s something akin to physical exercise. The idea of going for a run in the rain is miserable. But the idea of the hot shower afterwards is great: you have used your body for the better
The idea of helping dogs in the dust is miserable. But the idea of seeing a positive impact afterwards is wonderful: you have used your heart for the better.
ESSENTIALLY I WOULD LIKE TO BUILD MORAL PECS WITHOUT GOING TO THE COMPASSION GYM.
Does anyone know Lance Armstrong’s chemist?
But currently, I’m looking at a piece of scribbled paper on my desk with a plan for my year ahead with a sense of total dread. It’s like looking at an incomprehensible marathon map whilst massaging your broken ankle. WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?
My to do list:
1) I’m looking for a lawyer so I know what to do when I imminently break the law (more on this later)
2) I’m trying to contact 5 different charities around Asia and one in Africa to go and visit some really hard up situations whilst also planning my family xmas.
3) I’m thinking about going out to visit disaster striken countries because I reckon I should pull a donkey out of a mudslide. Or something.
4) I’m trying to start an online campaign to raise money for Staffies.
5) I’m trying to build a cat shelter out of discarded wood for a feral cat round the corner.
6) I’m trying to make some money from print sales and the odd photo job to keep the money in
7) I’m trying to understand the legal ins and outs of puppy farms in Wales.
8) I’m off to pick up a Staffie from Watford who has bad mange
9) Someone has responded to my advert offering help by saying they have a ‘neurotic cat’ that needs help. Wha????
And on top of this (and here my monstrous EGO comes thundering in to the room like a blind Yeti with a headache at a tea-party) I am doing all this whilst being vaguely distraught that no-one is reading this blog, no one is paying me and no-one is saying you did a good job. I could be selling photo books! I could be at a gallery! People could be admiring me from a distance just far enough that they don’t see my slight bald patch. For Chrissakes, there are other blogs out there about tiny dogs with perfectly round heads that get 1000 more hits a day than I do.
IT’S NOT BLOODY FAIR!!!
This is why it is difficult to do this year. Because I’m a vaguely confused, lazy, scared and self-obsessed animal lover with a big heart buried beneath years of inaction.
Yes, maybe this year to help IS a good thing.
Come on Usborne. hup, hup, 1..2…1…2..rescue those puppies.!!!!