“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:12).”
What many people don't know about me is that I can be a pretty nosy person. Not to the point that I work my way into other people's business uninvited, but rather to the degree that if I want to know something about someone I will flat out ask, even if it's of a personal nature because I have learned that people love to talk about themselve and will share just about anything if asked. If they don't want to share that information that's fine too, they will say so and I respect that.
But on the same note, I sometimes won't be that forthright. Instead I might lurk (bloggosphere term) and see what all the hype is about before saying anything, if I say anything at all, because sometimes I know when to keep my big mouth shut. And sometimes I don't. Sometimes my mouth runs away with me and words are out before I have really given it a lot of thought. Thankfully when you're blogging you have the luxury of being able to rethink what you're saying as you type it and the delete button is just inches away so you can take it back before you actually hit the post button.
At the same time, I would like to point out that I am not a religious person, but I am not unfamiliar with the bible either. The quote above is just something came to mind after reading some recent posts.
I am a huge advocate for freedom of speech and the right to have opinions. But what gives any person the right to judge another just because they don't happen to have the same opinion or feel as strongly about something?
In my recent 'lurkiness' I came across a site that has been ridiculed and labeled for voicing their opinions on certain issues. Granted after reading some of it, the author is very aggressive in her opinions and her commentors/supporters are really not much better. They are quick to judge and bad mouth others because their opinions are simply not what they believe.
The most recent post was the issue of euthanizing an animal/beloved pet, for the wrong reasons. Or what they believed to be the wrong reasons. Attacking others at the same time because they didn't feel quite the way they did. We will be on the verge of becoming a communist nation the day we only allow one person's opinion to matter.
I am not a supporter of euthanizing an animal just because you discover you can't take care of it after the fact or that the animal doesn't fit into your lifestyle any longer. There are definitely other ways to handle it. Finding a new home for the animal, a place that will love and take care of that animal just the way that you wanted to initially but found that it was not possible. But there is a fine line when your animal becomes ill. Do you spend the money to try and make the pet better or do you ease its suffering and have it euthanized?
I want to share a little story.
I grew up in a home with a lot of pets over time. But my father was of the opinion that if the pet did not fit into our life any more or we couldn't take it with us where ever we were going, he would have it put down without even trying to find it a new home. I hated this, but was too young to really have a voice. But I did vow that any pet I had in the future would be treated with the same respect as any other member of the family.
When I was 17 and had gone to live with my mom and step dad, we got a kitten. The most adorable little orange and white kitty, and so well behaved. The four kids loved that kitty, did everything for him and vowed to always take care of him. One day, while sitting in the living room, I witnessed the kitty have a seizure. It was one of the scariest things I have ever seen and I actually thought he was dead. But when the seizure stopped we discovered he was not dead but was now paralyzed. A parapalegic. Everything below his front legs did not work any more. I freaked, I cried and I begged my step dad to take him to the vet. But he wouldn't do it. Being the stubborn teen that I was, I wrapped the kitty up in a blanket, went to the neighbour and asked for a ride to the vet. The vet examined him and determined that there was nothing that could be done for him and euthanization was recommended. I didn't want to do that, but it didn't seem right to let the cat suffer either. I phoned my step dad, who was a little less than pleased that I had gone against him but he came and got me and paid the vet bill. But he refused to have the cat put down mainly because he didn't want to pay for it but I also think he didn't believe in euthanization either. We argued but I let him win that one because I guess I wanted to believe that we could still take care of this poor cat.
Over the coming weeks, the cat would move along the carpet, dragging his back legs to the point that the hair and skin on his legs became raw. We cleaned him and bandaged on a regular basis. But he didn't have any control over his bodily functions either. It was stressful and more inhumane than I could have imagined. It just didn't seem right.
One day the cat got outside as this was the life he was used to. And disappeared. We searched and searched to no avail. Really he couldn't have gotten very far but we could not find him. Days later, I returned from school and my mom informed me they had found the cat. It appeared that somehow he had tried to get down the patio stairs and had fallen through the stairs, landing in a bucket underneath. Because he had no function in his hind region he was unable to get out of the bucket. And then it rained.
I never forgave myself for allowing that to happen. If we had done what the vet recommended, if I had been stronger and stuck to my guns, he would have gone quietly, no suffering, no pain.
Today I have a cat. A beautiful, 9 year old, white ball of laziness. But she is my ball of laziness. And yes I consider her part of the family but she does have behavior issues. If she feels neglected or her litter box is not cleaned daily ( I think she believes she is a princess) she will retaliate by peeing on clothes that might have been left on the floor or peeing on the furniture. Both annoying and stinky. I had no problem cleaning up after her, resorting to being her lowly servant in order to make her happy...but when my daughter was born it became a different concern. A health concern. I still struggle with this today. My husband wants me to find a new home for her, I don't want to let her go because to me she is part of the family, bad behavior and all...but that does not give me the right to judge other people because they don't feel the same way.
She has behavior issues so trying to find her another home would be almost impossible, taking her to a shelter she would end up being put down anyway if she wasn't adopted and at her age the chances are unlikely. With such an over population of abandoned and abused animals, she would just be another casualty.
I think these people that are so quick to judge others who are trying to do the right thing, should save their judgements for the people that abuse their pets.
No one is perfect. We make decisions based on what is right for us. If you don't believe in something then don't do it, but don't judge others because they don't feel the same way you do.