Monday, November 24, 2008

The Best Form of Therapy


Gordon Allport

Of Note: This is one of my five cats, Gipper, contemplating his next move. We got him from the local humane society the day President Reagan died--thus, his name. I'm not a real animal lover, but cats have shown me what peace can come from the simple act of petting. They love the petting, we love the soft touch and purring that ensues. Because of this mutual exchange, nursing homes have long kept pets as therapy for the residents. Many of them have left beloved animals behind and, even in brains that cannot remember what day it is, the comfort of that soft touch remains. Sometimes it is the only memory that does.

Today's Weather Report: Cloudy and sunny. Sunny and cloudy. It can't make up its mind outside. Awhile ago, the snow tumbled down in giant waves whipped by the wind. Then the sun said, "Enough of that! We want some time here." This human just watches the show in wonder. I forgot to mention earlier in the month that the lake is now frozen tight, a process that finalized on or around the 15th. We won't see the water again until April.

Watch For Change Snippet: Many forms of loving exchange exist, of course, even between nations. Some might cynically remark that aid is given just for what a nation can get. But more broadly and imaginatively, aid might be envisioned as love given from one country to another. The 81-year old chief of the Japan International Cooperation Agency seems to hold this attitude. Sadako Ogata previously ran the UN's High Commission for Refugees from 1991 to 2000 and in that capacity helped many countries through a multitude of humanitarian crises. This octogenarian could have retired comfortably but chose instead to lead her country's aid agency. She believes it is now time to formalize Japan's aid to Iraq. Ogata is quoted as saying: "We've been helping Iraq during the conflict in an indirect way because of concerns that the security situation would expose our civilian workers to danger. Now the situation is stabilizing, so it's best that we go in." This elder added: "About half of our staff have master's degrees, and they have a variety of academic backgrounds ranging from international relations to business, law, economics and engineering. I also expect them to have a commitment to serve people and developing countries." This could be viewed as love in action and eventually such love will change the world.

No comments: