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07 November 2008

I will take care of you

I think we can tell a lot about a person’s heart by observing how they treat animals. Are we born with kind hearts or is that something we learn? Nature or nurture? My son saw this little kitten sitting all alone while its siblings played nearby. He picked it up and said, "You look lonely. I will take care of you." This touched me as a tremendous act of kindness by a 2 year old child. When I was a little girl, the boys who lived nearby all carried sling shots and BB rifles. They would kill birds with these weapons. Occasionally they would abuse a cat or small dog by shooting it and pelting it with rocks. This cruel torment was their fun. I would cry and beg them to stop, but they would just laugh. And then turning their weapons on me, they would chant "Sissy girl! Go home cry baby!" When I told my parents what happened, I was told, "That's just the way boys play." I thought it was a horrible way to play. I did not understand then, and I do not understand now some 40 years later, what joy can be had in such cruelty. We can teach our children to be kind to others if we ourselves are kind. It does not make you weak if you pet a dog or hold a kitten. I often wonder what became of the boys with the BB guns and sling shots.

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