“Once we accept that a living creature has feelings and suffers pain, then by knowingly and deliberately inflicting suffering on that creature, we are guilty, whether it be human or animal.”–Dr. Jane Goodall
As educators we know that the true name of the animal in the title of this essay is “sea star,” and most of us know the story of the young child gently and compassionately throwing back sea stars into the ocean from a large pile, one at a time.
Sometimes I feel like that small child, in my desire to heal this world of its inhumanity and destructiveness of the natural order. But every time I feel discouraged, I find a way to connect with one gentle compassionate act, and my heart is restored.
Some might say I am a “bleeding heart.” I prefer to say that I am a seasoned and skilled teacher. As adults who wear the mantle of ” teacher,” in whatever role we manifest (parent, grandparent, administrator, day care provider, therapist, counselor, neighbor, friend) we are charged with a somewhat sacred opportunity to share knowledge to the young. As we share our knowledge of flora and fauna on this planet, we enter the sphere of not only educator, but also as spiritual guide, connecting ourselves with the timeless realm of expanding peace and love.
I invite you to wear this mantle proudly. I happily share it with you. Learn, and then teach about this wonderful planet and its inhabitants and join the celebration of life. It may feel like a small thing; but it’s not.
Please feel free to send me your thoughts at wendyzacuto.com. I’d be happy to publish them!