Thursday, February 5, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I have nothing personally against Punxsutawney Phil. He’s just a cute furry creature whose hibernation is disturbed by frenzied camera crews. I would just like to see the same kind of coverage over the every day, small miracles that we happen in our midst without us even knowing about them. The media has been filled with dire predictions: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the spiraling down economy, the job loss rate, the home foreclosures and 1 in 3 teen drop out rate from school. There are animals who, unlike Punxsutawney Phil, are beaten and starved and neglected. And yet, there are quiet, humble miracles that happen every day, to help create a world that will include much bigger blessings than a shortened Winter season.
Joshua James Lapp, age 16, saved his elderly neighbor from an overwhelming fire. He heard her cries for help and climbed in her window into the dense smoke. Although nearly overwhelmed by smoke inhalation, and covered in lacerations to his arms, Joshua was able to save both of them, as well as another building resident. He did this without thought to his own safety. In a world in which teenagers are maligned and marginalized, Joshua’s actions were both extraordinary and wonderful. His name was released with his prestigious Carnegie Hero award, and yet few had heard of him before this. He is a hero, and he created a miracle, but quite literally caring for his neighbors as he would himself.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary creates quiet miracles every single day. Although based in Utah, Best Friends reaches their mission nationally to inform and educate people on animal care, as well as to provide rescue missions for animals in dire situations. Some of the miracles this organization performs appear on their program, “Dogtown” on the National Geographic Channel. One of the stories that touched my heart was that of Tuffy, a nearly dead Dalmatian mix who was attacked by starving other dogs at a hoarding situation of 100 dogs abandoned in the Nevada desert. Against all odds, this “toughie” not only survived by thrived. His caregivers were incredible, and his foster father, Jeff, was a true hero, loving Tuffy back to life. The most heroic part of all was Jeff’s giving Tuffy to his new adoptive family, a healed and loved dog.
None of these stories make it to the front pages in the same way that bad news, or Punxsutawney Phil does. But, these beautiful stories of quiet miracles are a much better ‘prediction’ of what we, as human beings, are capable of. Winter will turn into Spring, both metaphorically and literally. But, we, ourselves, can help generate our own predictions for a better world by our own choice of actions: to be a heroic, to be humble, to be kind and most of all, to think of others before ourselves. I believe that’s a much better predictor of our future “climate”.