Tuesday 30 July 2013

They shoot horses, don't they?

It is a strange world indeed. A world full of contrasts and complexities so deep, that sometimes I have to just stop and wonder at it all.

As you already know, the human condition perplexes me greatly and although I know I will never get to the bottom of its deep well of understanding, I do like to drink deeply of it every now and again.

I have recently joined a new Facebook group. Not having even previously known of their existence, I came across this group of random individuals, who dedicate much of their spare time to the
collection and care of injured birds, mostly pigeons.

And what a revelation! Big hairy, bearded men, the sort I would possibly have crossed the street to avoid, are pictured lovingly regarding a healed or healing bird, which sits perched on their shoulder. Heavily tattooed young women with neon hair, hold the injured birds up to the camera, to show their injuries and ask for or give advice on specific wound treatments.

And I realised something about myself in the process. Having come from Glasgow [albeit a long time ago when I was eighteen], I thought that I judged people by their actions, rather than their image. But I was wrong. I am just as judgemental as is the next person.

Now don't get me wrong. These lovely people are nutty as fruit cakes but in a lovely way. And I'm sure now that if they read this blog they will agree. Let me explain.

It's not what they do, the rescuing and caring for birds, which is the nutty part. No, that is the most commendable part of their characters. The care, the diligence and the concern they show for each and every one of their charges, is heart-renderingly wonderful.

The nutty part, is the bit that comes after, where they proceed to let the birds fly around their houses or nest up in the curtains! But it is a nuttiness born of consideration and love, a real ability to actually do what most of us can only say - to live and let live.

And of course, I am as nutty as the rest of them. I, after all, have an injured wood pigeon in my kitchen which flaps around the kitchen and the back garden. That's why the conversation I have just had with one of my children hit me so hard.

I was asked by my daughter why she had [in a film] seen a horse being shot after it had a broken leg. I had to explain that although the injuries would heal, that most people found the process too expensive. And that, added to the fact that the horse would never be able to be ridden as well afterwards, caused it to be condemned to a death sentence.

My eldest was mortified. Why were there no laws to stop this? Why were there no charities that would take in the horses? I explained there were charities but that they were most probably swamped with requests.

But awful as that situation is,  I was not disheartened by it as I once  would have been. Through this group I can see that there are kind and humane people in all walks of life. And that just because you can't instantly spot them, doesn't mean they don't exist. Because I know that somewhere, someone will be working with these horses just as my group is with birds.

You see what I am trying to say, is that these people have restored my faith  in human nature. They have given me back what was lost through countless news programmes or newspaper articles which report on only the horrors of the world.

There are good people out there...and not just a few. So stand up you strangely bearded men and neon barneted women, with your piercings and your tattoos, arise you quiet damsels or shy withdrawn young men and come forward all you others who look just like you and I.

Come forward all of you, for you are my heroes.

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