Thursday, April 21, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
"Dad - i wanna go play in the rain. Can i go play - pleeeeease?"
Look at these guys. Look at these faces. There’s something very special about the bond between our animal friends and us. We might not quite be able to put our fingers on it – some might say it’s unconditional love. Others would say friendship. Or say their zany antics are what give them a special place in our hearts. Whatever the case, we have all felt it. Haven’t we?
Every once in a while, i run across a person who doesn’t like animals. I’m not talking about the “i don’t like little dogs,” or the “i hate cats,” kind of people. But the all-out, “i don’t like animals no matter what shape, size, or color,” kind of people. A statement like that momentarily stops my brain from functioning. My recovery is jump-started by a barrage of questions aimed at clarifying what i perceive as my misunderstanding. “What? You don’t like cats? You don’t like dogs? Birds? Horses? What – not even fish?” At this point i find myself in a very rare situation. Speechlessness. Because this is truly baffling to me. But something else happens when i learn that a person doesn’t like animals. I immediately pull away. Maybe not physically, but emotionally i feel a barrier go up. Something about a person who cannot like an animal hits some fundamental nerve – and i cannot fully trust them. They are one step away from those who also don’t like animals but lie about it. And instead have pets they treat cruelly, even torture or kill, with the indifferent rationale that, “It’s just an animal. Who cares?”
Thankfully that’s not the majority of people. We love our little Fluffy’s, Smokey’s, and Polly’s. They make us feel good about ourselves in a sometimes very harsh world. They’re like Prudential – they are the Rock when it comes to calming our souls and soothing our hearts. They possess unwavering, supportive healing powers. And that’s something you can count on.
"!!! Psst! Go 'way silly human! Givin' 'way my secret, invisible, ninja, hiding spot!"
Monday, April 4, 2011
I come across some of the strangest things online. Don’t we all? Our inboxes are full of cool, gross, and humorous clips friends have forwarded to us from the Internet. Today i found a fun little site that’s my favorite kind of find – an off-beat, funky, worthy cause. One Day Without Shoes is hosted and support by MSN/Microsoft and Tom’s Shoes – a shoe manufacturer who promises for every pair of shoes purchased, one pair goes to a child in need. And as far as i can tell – that’s 365 days a year. Awesome. The goal for One Day Without Shoes is to raise awareness of children in poverty who have never had a pair of shoes and some of the problems that arise – diseases, infections, and bias – that come from being shoeless in a shoed world. According to Tom’s, 300 million children are without shoes. That’s a lot of little exposed toes in a cold, cold world. Tom’s is asking us to go barefoot for the day to raise awareness. And of course buy a pair of shoes.
I like the sentiment. But i wonder the overall sanity. I mean, we’re born without shoes. Humans have existed for thousands and thousands of years without shoes. Of course, there weren’t 6.9 billion people back then. That many people tend to make a helluva lot of garbage – followed closely by an equal amount of parasites and other ickies that probably didn’t exist.
And something else occurred to me, if there’re so many bugs, infections, and other not-so-pleasant things out there waiting to attack us, why is Tom’s asking us to go without shoes for a day? Isn’t that like asking for a lawsuit? “Tom asked me to go without shoes and I did and I got this nasty cut on my foot and then it got infected and now I’ve been to the doctor three times and they can’t get rid of the infection and I’ve missed more work than I have sick days…” Can’t you just hear that conversation with some lawyer?
Yet overall it feels like a real Berkeley moment and the biggest eye-brow raiser in all this, is that Tom’s is doing what all manufacturers should be doing – giving. Sure, they’re raising awareness of their own product and hopefully selling a butt-load of shoes, but they are simultaneously raising awareness of children in poverty who have no shoes at all. Don’t be one-sided; you know we are going to buy shoes. It’s a profit-profit situation and the best of what any company should aspire.
As for me, no need to ask twice to go barefoot. I love being barefoot. Reminds me of summer, the beach, of being a kid. So i vote for going One Day Without Shoes. At least in places it’s not illegal. We have laws for that in America because – hygiene issues. Duh.