Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Way of Thinking: Animal Cruelty

Nala and Bruno (pictured) were cruelly poisoned with antifreeze.  Someone did this horrific thing just as they were about to be adopted into forever homes, making it all the more tragic.

I wish I could say that this was some kind of isolated event, but sadly these kinds of abuses take place every day.  We all wonder what kind of monster would harm an innocent animal.  I'm afraid we wonder in vain.  It is the same mindset of the child abuser, or the wife beater, or the murderer.  Thankfully, the vast majority of us cannot comprehend this kind of madness.

As many of you know, I have spent many years studying psychology in order to gain insight into the workings of the human mind.  I have also put in a lot of time studying animal behavior.  I am currently working on my Masters in Psychology, yet I am as confounded as anyone when it comes to understanding the aberration of cruelty for cruelty's sake.  I can list the known factors that can bring this kind of behavior to an individual's pathology, but truly understand it?  Well, not so far.  I honestly understand the workings of a dog's mind better than a human's.

I feel that, because abuse is incomprehensible, it is better to look for positive actions that can be taken to prevent or stop it, than to try to fully understand it's complexities.  For the time being, we can write, call, or petition our elected officials asking for stronger laws to punish animal abusers.  Right now in most places punishment is a slap on the wrist and a fine.  Keeping in mind that the majority of serial killers started off torturing animals, it makes sense to deter this behavior with the promise of real and severe punishment along with compulsory therapy.

In three weeks I begin an advanced class in criminal psychology.  Maybe that will finally give me more insight.  If it does, I will fill you all in.  Meanwhile, I will concentrate on positive actions like the ones I mentioned.  I find that to be the best therapy.  It helps alleviate that feeling of impotence.  Knowing that we can make a difference is comforting in the face of something that is so egregiously wrong.  And taking action with a loving and caring heart is that much more satisfying.

                                           Peace and Love,



Monday, August 20, 2012

Austin's Thoughts: My Way of Thinking: Perhaps a Rant

Austin's Thoughts: My Way of Thinking: Perhaps a Rant: Elephants outside a hotel in Africa.  This was their home among the Mango trees that sustain their mighty hunger.  They continue to come her...

My Way of Thinking: Perhaps a Rant

Elephants outside a hotel in Africa.  This was their home among the Mango trees that sustain their mighty hunger.  They continue to come here every year to feed because this is their home.  This is their birthright and the hotel accommodates them by giving them passage to exercise their freedom.  They even walk through the lobby to the delight of staff and guests alike.  Bravo hotel!  Cheers to you for recognizing that we can't just put up fences to keep creatures out.  It is a good thing to be inclusive.

I have a thing against the concept of gated communities.  The exclusivity of it all annoys me no end.  As people lock the rest of the world out, are they not also locking themselves in?  Other than the lavish homes, the security systems, the manicured lawns etc., what makes this all that different from a prison?  The people who live in this kind of environment have separated themselves from society as it exists in reality.  What possible benefit does that have for the real world.

I discern that many of these people identify themselves as being Christians.  Interesting, since Jesus never separated himself from the poor.  Maybe I read it wrong, but wasn't Jesus the supreme advocate for those in poverty.  No gated community for him.  The hypocrisies do not escape me.  The "let them eat cake" attitudes got Marie Antoinette beheaded as I recall.

We live under a system that feels that health care is something for the people who can afford it.  We call social interventions entitlements, ignoring the fact that the majority has paid for these things for everyone, not just the "entitled" few.  These things were conceived as a safety net for all.  Do some take undo advantage of this system?  You bet.  But should those who deserve to benefit from the promise of a secure old age, or help if they become disabled, or the right to take advantage of all that medical science has to offer suffer because of the machinations of the few?  Personally, I don't think so.

I firmly believe that we are here on this planet to work as a team.  It is our obligation to help those in need.  In so doing, we help ourselves as well.  Locking ourselves up in gilded cages seems to be only self centered.  Can't see a way around that assesment. 

Ok.  This was a rant from the heart.  The fortunate few will disagree, no doubt.  But if we aren't helping one another, then we are hurting one another.

MY WAY OF THINKING!  And I'm sticking to it.

                                    Peace and Love,



Monday, August 6, 2012

My Way of Thinking: A year of writingA

A whole year of writing.  Wow!  I have learned so much from my readers and friends from all over the world.  I wanted to share this picture and thought with you because this kind of takes us back to the beginning of Austin's Thoughts: My Way of Thinking.  We are all connected and the love we share makes the world a better place.  It was my intention from the first post to this one to share love with you all.  Love is so BIG!  Knowing that you are loved is so incredibly important.  It infuses our days with light, joy, and strength that we would not otherwise have.

I loved what was written on the picture above.  It reminds me that we can't define ourselves as any one thing.  We are all comprised of many things that make us who we are.  It reminds us not to separate ourselves but to join in the magnificent experience of being as one.  Compassion, understanding, empathy, all come from the knowledge that we are connected.  There is no room for emotions like anger or hate when you feel that connection.  You would be feeling that negativity towards yourself.

No one is perfect.  Don't I know it.  But the daily challenge of being better as a person, of trying to give just a little more, of sharing our love makes us stronger.  Every time we go that extra mile in the pursuit of making the world a bit more sane, we change things for ourselves and everyone around us.  It frightens some people to open their heart.  Danger comes with the territory.  You might get hurt.  But, if you don't give, you will never truly enjoy the peace of receiving.  It is worth that pain that can come with the territory.

During the past month or so, I found that my way of thinking isn't right for everyone.  I scare people because they don't know how to respond to an open heart.  All I can say is I am sorry you feel that way.  I won't change the parts of myself that bring me joy.  I will continue to share my point of view with my faithful readers all over the world.

                                            Peace and Love,