Category: environment

turtle crossing

I was saving the diapsids long before you VSCO girls made it trendy by ditching plastic straws in your venti Starbucks cups.

A couple of years ago, driving along my small stretch of road, I saw a turtle up ahead, smack dab in the middle of it. I slowed down, pulled off to the side, and looked both ways before stepping foot onto the asphalt. It was a rather small turtle, just doing its business, taking its time to cross the road. That is until it saw me. One look at this lumbering dude and it withdrew its limbs into its shell.

I picked it up and asked it not to bite me as I slowly and gently walked it across the road in the same direction it was headed. I hoped it wasn’t the snapping kind. I didn’t know much about turtles but was it possible it could whip its head around, elongated and angry, ready to strike my palm with its powerful jaw? Thankfully it never peeped out of its head hole and let me taxi it to the other side. Once it was safely out of rubber harm’s way, I carefully set it down and stepped back a bit to see if it would come out of its shell. It eventually did and continued on its course.

I drive a lot and see a lot of dead animals in the road and it breaks my heart a little each time. I try to swerve to avoid as many as I can but not all animals can be avoided and it should always be done within reason. And I started to think about that “within reason” and realized most of us don’t apply that logic to our day-to-day lives and routine activities. Consideration, kindness, and good deeds are all lacking in society. I’ve often wondered where that breakdown started to begin. Surely it’s not just one factor but a multitude of reasons we’ve all become rancid.

One thing that I’ve noticed is we don’t seem to be taught how to give and receive love. We all feel alone and alienated and bullied and often that bullying comes from a lack of love on the aggressor’s part. We live in an iced coffee cancel culture where it’s popular to point out everyone’s flaws. We are quick to condemn an off-color comment but we don’t try to correct it. It’s instant damnation without education and no opportunity for growth.

It’s easy to write people off and think the worst of them because when we realize people can make mistakes, we have to face the reality that we also make mistakes. And that’s a hard pill to swallow because mistakes mean growth and change and it’s more comfortable being petty. We don’t expect people to do better because we don’t want to do better ourselves.

We openly hate others expecting no consequence but expect retaliation when someone hates us. We are taught suspicion, paranoia, and protection. But it really just boils down to fear and ignorance, two qualities that are not only tolerated by #45 but encouraged. Because when you can create, orchestrate, and control someone’s fear, you can stroll in as the savior and when people feel safe, they trust you. And when they remain ignorant and uneducated, they will never question you.

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