so i have been giving a lot of thought to the benefits of living ‘green‘. i whole-heartedly believe in green practice and where i admit i am not where i could be, i have made a conscious effort to at least be where i should be. for now i am content.
but why not take it one step further. we could go green with emotional fulfillment and needs. we have a surplus of love and compassion to go around and so much of it is going to waste.
for example….. and i could go on for days,
homeless aged shelter dog + lonely elderly (in group home or nursing home or own home) = happy dog & engaged and comforted elderly.
this is a win-win situation. the dog gets the much needed love and attention it needs and will return it back infinity-fold. it’s just the nature of the beast. the elderly become engaged, more alert and comforted and more physical which has been medically proven to improve the health and mentality of the elderly’s self.
you add a youth to the equation (youth with dog lead(homeless aged shelter dog) + lonely elderly (in group home or nursing home or own home) = engaged and calm youth & happy dog & engaged and comforted elderly ), and you have now improved the lives of three beings. the dog still has an endless supply of unconditional love to go around and all the petting hands and attention are readily received by the dog; the elderly become doubly engaged and comforted by both the dog and the youth; the youth has an opportunity to engage with an elder who probably has a lot to share (old folks are pretty interesting people!!) while attaining a calmness in being with the dog as well as a sense of responsibility and increased confidence.
you can change the variable to homeless aged shelter cat instead of dog. the benefit of the aged animal is that they are usually already trained and less… energetic which typically coincides with the physical needs of the elderly
service animal + juvenile or inmate + ptsd soldier returning home = 1)happy dog! 2)positive (but not complete) emotional rehabilitation of juvenile/inmate 3) increased quality of life and aid in living with ptsd. this is actually demonstrated in this ultimately heart-warming book by Luis Carlos Montalván, Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. many of the service dogs that are trained for PTSD victims are done so by the inmates in prison. the interaction between the inmate and the service dog assist in the improving the mental well being for the inmate; it also gives them a sense of purpose. of course the service dog may be breed specific but in the case where the ‘service’ is not required as so much as the companionship, a shelter dog would suffice. i want to mention that Luis and Tuesday are 2 of my heroes.
animals in general keep us present, their needs are immediate and pure, their love and loyalty is unconditional. most want nothing more than to please and be loved.
and another example:
mentally or physically disabled children + animal up for slaughter = loving attention for the animal and fulfillment and calmness to the child. open up a horse rescue ( ie, the female horses that were bred to make Premarin and then sent to slaughter when they were no longer ($$$) useful – disgraceful 😦 … ) for rehabilitative therapy and exercise for disabled (i.e. wheelchair bound) children. the horse remains alive because she has many years left on her, and there is proven medical benefit in the introduced physical activity and to the mental state of the child. an autistic child with a shelter dog could be another beneficial pairing.
one of my favorites examples that’s on a international scale:
elephants(trekking + logging + performing + abused + landmine victims) + land sanctuaries and educated mahouts + local villagers = 1) elephants living in dignity 2) land sanctuaries that can become volunteer sites for people to become educated on a great cause 3) work for local villagers to sustain themselves. of course i am talking about my personal experience at the elephant nature park in thailand. a progressive humanistic movement that is proving positive on all fronts. elephants are finally receiving care and getting freedom from a lifetime of abuse; their elephant poo is used by local farmers to raise crops that are then sold back as food for the elephants; visitors that want to see elephants can see them in closest thing to a ‘free’ rescued, domesticated elephant.
this next example is a little more creative:
wrongly denied medical insurance claim + frustrated receiver of medical care + lonely elderly = something better than the current situation.
there are so many times that an individual has to deal with their insurance company because wrongly billed claim coverage. this is insanely frustrating, particularly when the insurance company says they will correct the claim and fail miserably for the next 6 months. this is where the elderly (who are truly looking for activity without having to leave their home) can come into play. for those that are lonely or bored and just need to verbal communication to occupy them, they could call these insurance companies for the frustrated individuals who just don’t have the time to deal for hours on end with these incorrectly billed claims. the rightly fitted elderly individual would stay on the phone for hours, calling once a day for status updates from the insurance company. the insurance company claim service would come to a screeching halt, and probably gladly just pay the claim.
in addition to all this spreading of compassion, we end up creating jobs to help run these types of programs. close a puppy mill and place these abused animals. stop unnecessary slaughter and improve the life a of human and animal. humankind and animal-kind have so much to offer.
love a tree, hug a cat.
peace, love and happiness,