May 23 2016

The Meaning — and Hypocrisy — of Life

Picard pays his final respects at the newborn bird's grave.

Picard pays his final respects at the newborn bird’s grave.

On our morning walk today, Picard was especially curious about something on the sidewalk. The kind of curious that makes me command, “Leave it,” because usually it means he’s about to ingest whatever it is, before I’ve had a chance to identify it. Last time that happened, it was marijuana in some form (see Picard stoned here). Which I only learned after a $400 veterinarian ER bill.

This time “It” was a tiny dead bird. I’ll spare you a photo, that’s what words are for: It was @ 1″ long, covered only in down, tiny beak, closed eyes, stiff claws. Through the thin, transparent yellowish skin on Its underside, you could make out Its tiny bluish and reddish organs — the sight of that really hit me. Vital organs which are evidence of a complex network that, to me, represents the  miracle of life. I have no idea how the poor thing ended up dead on a sidewalk; there was no tree above — though the winds have been high of late, so it’s quite possible it blew out of a nest nearby. Poor thing never stood a chance. I buried it as best I could on the spot, covering it first with leaves because I didn’t like the idea of It being under just the harshness of rocks.

I think about people, and life, and the meaning of life and the meaning of being “Pro Life” — and the belief held that God created life, therefore every life, even the unborn human, is sacred. But if God created life, not just human, but ALL life, then isn’t ALL life sacred? And if God chose us, humans, to have the superior intelligence, did he do so so that we’d invent ways to destroy the life He created? Or would He want us to preserve it, to be the stewards of this magnificent world He created?

People can make the hunting for food argument, and there is something to be said for the Cycle of Life. Of course, most people reading this are not going to starve to death if they don’t kill that deer (from afar, with a high-powered rifle and scope, yet) for dinner. Our superior intelligence has, over the years, led to our building Sprouts and Costco’s and Whole Foods and lots of other places that have lots of other delicious things to eat that don’t require you to take a life. So clearly some people enjoy killing — something I’ll never understand, but one topic at a time. Let’s get back to hypocrisy.

To say an unborn human life is sacred, then turn around cut funding for healthcare and food for the poor (and God forbid, undocumented) children of color —  or pull the trigger on an innocent animal, taking it from its own offspring, so that you might mount its head on your wall, or throw its coat on your floor, or sell its tusk to fund your war — I just don’t think that’s what God had in mind. But what the hell do I know?

Politics, family, the friends we keep, our source for news; they all influence our morals, ethics, and how we treat one another. We all want the world, our community, to be free of its problems; the ones that affect us directly and indirectly. And think what you may about the behavior of others, at the end of the day, there are always going to be people in your community worse off than you. People who need help. And if you’re going to whip out a Bible when you fight for a fetus, claiming to be “Pro Life,” then you’d better be as passionate about protecting the Life of the hungry children who are already here, whether or not you approve of how they got here — in your town, in your country, and here on on God’s Green Earth.