I was minding my own business this morning, trying to ease into the day. I had decided not to write; opting instead to sit and think, leaving yall alone. Then, I saw on GMA a report (complete with pictures) of Cecil, the lion… wait, let me say it correctly, “The beloved lion…” So, here I am!
Initially I marveled at the fact that not only is this (still) news, but certainly that it shares the spotlight with reports of humans being killed. Listen, a couple of weeks ago news of this was reported before that of atrocities afflicted upon we animals that walk upright! I was and admit to continuing to be quite flabbergasted at the uproar (no pun intended).
But, I did say “initially.” Immediately after getting the shaking of my head out of the way marveling at this story, I forced myself to think about why this is resonating with so very many (to the point where death threats are being leveled at the doctor and his guide) and, I believe I have finally arrived at the answer.
What I was missing in my outrage at the amount of attention this story was garnering, so incredulous it was given such focus when people are being killed, hurt and murdered was that even as this outcry has a name, “Cecil” the lament and outrage are for the lack of respect toward life.
I have been guilty of something I berate others for- I caution people, I caution you against indulging in any behavior that, even as the action may appear individually focused or targeted, the mindset that allows for it easily becomes habit. In my inability to understand or validate that the killing of this animal matters, I was unwittingly leaving myself open to the possibility of “playing God” – deciding which of life matters; granting myself the right to place a value on life.
I have self-adjusted. So now, even as I will never be photographed protesting anywhere, nor would a picture of me go viral because of its poignancy as tears stream down my face hearing of the death of a whale, I vow to leave myself open to crediting respect and value to the lives of the others that inhabit this earth. I admit to not giving them much thought at all.
Sometimes things, people… animals are called to be sacrificed so some ignorant, stubborn and as my grandmother used to say, “hard-headed” people like me can wake up and learn. So, thank you Cecil.