Sunday, August 11, 2013

Extending Our Idea of Community

"I offer my opinion to The New York Times, on Groundhog Day, 2003, just weeks before we invade Iraq:

.....As we find ourselves on the eve of war with Iraq, why should we care about the fate of a rodent (the prairie dog), an animal many simply see as a "varmint". Why should we as citizens of the United States of America with issues of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, racism, and a shaky economy care about the status and well-being of an almost invisible animal that spends half of its life underground in the western grasslands of this nation?

Quite simply, because the story of the Utah prairie dog is the story of the range of our compassion. If we can extend our idea of community to include the lowliest of creatures (call them the "untouchables") then we will indeed be closer to a path of peace and tolerance. If we cannot accommodate "the other", the shadow we will see on our own home ground will be the forecast of our own species' extended winter of the soul."

Page 89, ‘Finding Beauty in a Broken World’, Terry Tempest Williams

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