Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How Far Would You Go to Save a (Fish's) Life

Last night, I had a horrible nightmare. My dear Ernest Hemingway was suffering from something that made him lose all his quills. Have you ever seen a quilless hedgehog? The google images are not pretty.


In response to my dream, Roommate Cousin suggested I stop worrying about him so much. In recent weeks, with the weather warming and Ernest living in his new home, my worry has dwindled. I know he is happy and gets lots of exercise. He has even started liking apples so he has a well rounded diet. I don't worry. I concern.

Along with my persnickety hedgehog, I have two fish. I'm practically on my way to a small zoo. Inspired by my mother's preschool class betta fish, I got some of my own. This morning, after my bad dream about Ernest, I woke to discover that Scout, my littlest fish, had a bulging eye. I jumped on the research and discovered it was a condition known as pop eye. A possibly curable condition, but if left untreated the eye can fall out of the socket. I wasted no time, went to two separate pet stores and came home with fish medication having spent a significant amount of money for my $2.50 fish.


So I ask you, how far would you go to save a fish's life?

I've always liked animals. Throughout my childhood, I had several pets, including the salamanders we would collect from under the porch. It wasn't until recently that animals to me have become more than just a passing desire but a passion.

To answer the question, I would go to all of the pet stores in the city and spend 100Xs what the fish cost to save her life. She is my fish. My responsibility. My choice. She might be small, but every life is worth saving.

When God created the world, whichever way you believe that He did or did not do so, He gave humanity a task. He told us to take care of the planet. To help it grow. This is our world and these are our animals. And I committed myself to this duty when I brought that little fish home from the pet store.

This is what I give to the little fish. But what do I give to this world?

It seems so daunting. It is an impossible task when we look at it as one person against everything else. How can I feed all the starving children? Fight to protect the rhinoceros from poachers? Strive to keep Chicago public schools open and to end the violence on the streets?

We have a responsibility to the animals in our world. To the plants and flowers that are growing anew in the warming spring sun. To the people who are our family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. And if we stand alongside God in protecting this planet, maybe we can make a change. Slowly we can build a better world.

All we have to do is start with one small fish.
Through simple acts of kindness our world can grow into a better place.  

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
What will you do for the littlest fish? How far will you go to save its life?

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