A Plea for Forbearance
All of us love animals but sometimes treat others differently, with anger or hatred. All of us have our own pains and vulnerabilities which we see in animals and attempt to fix there, because it is possibly fixable, compared to our own lives. We see the pain in our own lives and those of animals but often don’t see it in others.
Long ago I recognized my ability to end suffering and injustice in the world was very limited. I made up my mind to draw an imaginary circle and vowed to protect and serve all within that circle to make it a better world. Sometimes I forget this vow and damage those whom I want to help. Sometimes I have done it on this site.
Ed Boks is in the unenviable position of being regarded as the head fixer with infinite resources, millions of dollars and hundreds of people, but he is not. There are a lot of animal people out there who are in desperate situations. You need help personally and with your animals, even if you deny it to yourselves.
I wish I could help you and I am sure Ed wants to help you, especially with your animals. To each of you who feels this way, please bear with Ed and LAAS. Give LAAS time to transform itself, and become who you want them to be. LAAS has been called the department that does not want to change. Stuckey was defeated by a department that did not want to change.
Leave Ed alone to see if he can make this change and save lives or actively help with your time and skills. His power is limited by what he has to work with and he needs your help to make the greater change possible.
Life is suffering. Life is terrible. This is the first principle of both Buddhism and Hinduism. Both Jews and Christians exhault compassion.
Let us not make things worse my tearing down a house even while it is being built, which might shelter thousands of little souls who need our help. We need to put the animals’ needs ahead of our own; fortunately, this is our inclination and salvation anyway.
Many of you see the workmen building that house as useless, and worse, as cruel and unfeeling and that you can do better. I am sure that many of you in our animal community can do better. But all this will take time; years of time.
Some may find their lives enriched in some form in LAAS’s future, some not. What will be, will be. But you will never be part of what could be greatness if your intent is to harm.
My heart breaks when I see the pain of the world and I can do so little. I too wish someone could make it all right as we feel it should be. This is not going to happen. Ed does not have that power, or at least only to a small extent. The best we can do is share effort to establish a common goal of help, brotherhood, sisterhood, together.
I know what I say here will find response in jeering emails from those who still feel an angry reaction to injustice, but this is my take.
My frustration and anger is with those with long knives who have the capability of sabotaging what could be greatness and also with the employees who are so entrenched in killing or who obviously never should have been employed by LAAS. The former need to be stopped, and concerning the latter, let us try to get rid of them through channels to make room for those who really care.
We may need to create new channels to hasten the process of change. I call on all to agree to a mechanism of honest complaint and redress through a watch-blog, and to assist in the new complaint/compliment process with specifics and real evidence. I also call for the creation of a civilian oversight committee as contemplated by Mike Bell to investigate complaints. I also see this as a function of the LAAS Commission and enjoin them to have the courage to force change.
I also call for the creation of an office of the Ombudsman, the concept of which is to investigate government abuses of power or acts or cruelty and malfeasance.
Ombudsmen are everywhere, at all the UC campuses, almost all parts of Arizona’s health care system, at all levels of government in some states.
These would be four mechanisms to address what we truly see as injustice and to end injustice.
I would also like to see the community come together in a way that we can help each other even better than we have before. Share resources more. If someone is in need, help them more.
In the meantime, please wait. Please be patient. Some of us will fall through the cracks and be lost, some will find a place. It is not our will, or within Ed’s or the mayor’s capability to help all, although I am sure they wish they could. But it is within our capability to extend mercy to the animals and forbearance toward each other.