This may sound like a bleak outlook on life, but accepting reality has been a gift. It means that I can slow down. I have stopped racing to get over there while I am still standing over here. I have shifted my focus from DO-ing more, to BE-ing more. Who we are in this world means everything.
Though we may not embrace it at the time, dealing with difficult situations pushes us to our edge, allowing for expansion and growth. Whether it’s Mother Nature’s physical devastation or our own internal storms, life continues to throw challenges our way.
It is in times of great despair that we get catapulted into a new way of thinking. Something interrupts our routine, forcing us to look at our lives with new eyes. Walking away or pretending something doesn’t exist may feel easier at first but it’s our willingness to stay with the pain and discomfort that creates creates real, long-term change. And that takes courage.
In this issue we explore the profound impact of breed discrimination, and how judging animals based on appearance alone is a dangerous practice that has left hundreds of thousands of incredible animals to die alone in shelters. The unfair plight of Pit Bull-type dogs fuels us to transform the negative stereotypes repeatedly perpetuated by those who have not taken the time to know these loving, loyal companions.
Fear and sensationalism sells, and sadly, many don’t care to dig deeper. We have to be willing to talk about these false beliefs, expose them, and break them apart in order to change the perception. It can be frustrating, and it can seem hopeless at times, but giving up is not an option.
We must continue demonstrating what it means to do right by those who cannot advocate for themselves. Recently, we saw examples of this around the country and in our own backyard. I am so proud of the way the Chicagoland animal welfare community came together during the hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires on behalf of the animals. Despite the fact that local shelters and rescues are already working overtime, when the call for help came from neighboring communities near and far, Chicago’s animal lovers stepped up in a big way.
Who we choose to be and how we handle the obstacles in front of us reveals our true character. And it seems that no matter what I’m dealing with, my animals provide me with the same answer: be present and come from love.
We may not always know how things will work out, but staying focused on why we are doing what we do keeps us moving in the right direction. Where there is no way, a way will be made.
Keep the faith, be kind, stay true to yourself, and it will all work out—
Tagged Janice Gork