Today’s world seems filled with turmoil and violence. We have mass media and expert propaganda continually spreading suspicion and fear, resulting in millions of folks who become negative and suspicious, or simply hardened with indifference, which is almost worse. A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change; even if they behave negatively or hurt us, and we must not let those who have taken advantage of us stop us from being generous. Compassion and kindness sometime ask us to go where we are uncomfortable, and challenge us to speak up for those suffering, whether human or canine. With one kind gesture, we can change a life…one at a time, we can change attitudes; together we can make a difference.

Compassion and kindness toward companion animals is a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done, as emphasized by Harriett Beecher Stowe:

“We are the voice of the voiceless; only through us they can speak

‘Til the deaf world’s ears be made to hear the wrongs of the wordless weak.

We are our animals’ keepers and must fight their fight,

And spread compassion and kindness until the world shall set things right.”

Just about everyone has a lonely dog (or two or three…or more) in the neighborhood, often tied out at the end of a chain or in a pen “out back.” Mixing tact with kindness and compassion, without being judgmental, explain to the caregivers that you understand that they are busy, and as a dog lover, you would be available (at no cost) to help with his care. Perhaps they have never even realized that dogs are social creatures who long for companionship..…Maybe you could offer to walk the dog once a week. You probably have a few old blankets that he would enjoy…or a few safe toys to decrease his boredom. Little things can mean a lot to an isolated back-yard dog!

Keep working to raise awareness of the inhumane conditions in puppy mills, and keep supporting laws to improve the plight of these helpless animals. Legislators need to be reminded that animal advocates are not radical activists, and their motivation is fueled by the fact that compassion and kindness are NOT shown to the animals in these filthy, horrendous places. If you are not aware of the scourge of puppy mills, or are indifferent to this issue, please spend some time doing research and you will be motivated to get involved.

Teaching children to have compassion and kindness toward their furry friends is vital for preventing cruelty to animals. According to the national PTA Congress, “Children trained to extend, kindness, justice, and compassion to animals become more just, kind and considerate in their relationships with each other. Character training along these lines will result in men and women who are more humane, more law-abiding, in every respect more valuable citizens. Live and teach the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” According to FBI profilers, professionals, law-enforcement officials, and child advocacy organizations, people who hurt animals may eventually direct violence toward humans. Teaching kindness and compassion toward animals is the foundation stone to teaching empathy to the human world.

Your inner voice encourages compassion and kindness. As Shel Silverstein says, “ There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long, ‘I feel this is right for me; I know this is wrong.’ No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for you…just listen to the voice that speaks inside “

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted 😉