My Brother’s Keeper

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: My being only a casual reader of the Bible, I’ve never deemed it a page turner worthy of a cover to cover read. Admittedly, my interpretations of scripture can stray unto paths less “traveled” by the major league, professional theologians.

Nevertheless… hopefully… you and I can still lace up our athletic footwear and… upon tying all of the required double knots… go for a walk through life. I think you’ll find our journey enjoyable be the road you’re upon secular, devout or somewhere in the middle. So… are you with me?

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” is rooted to the Biblical Story of two brothers… Cain and Abel… that very question attributable to the fratricidal sociopath, Cain, who uttered those words to God with a haughtiness and hostility that… well…

Let’s just say that had this involved a vengeful, small “g” god… such a deplorable attitude would’ve invited… at the very least… one hurled lightning bolt. Indeed, could we not envision such a PO’d deity gleefully training his glowering, evil eye’s “crosshairs” on “home plate”, winding up his throwing arm and delivering the perfect, strike-three-and-your out “pitch”? ZAP! Cain’s miserable hide reduced to a pile of smoldering ashes?

To help bring this “brother’s keeper” issue into better focus, let’s apply it to a more contemporary setting. It’s regrettable, but true, that we are facing down what has become our “What’s in it for me” society, where we’re discovering way too many individuals who… either unwittingly or willfully… are unleashing Cain’s arrogance and aggression.

Whatever happened to that sense of obligation to humanity? That eagerness to look out for the well-being of one another? That desire to keep each other out of harm’s way?

When we really think about it, aren’t nearly all of us living examples of how humanity’s very survival depends upon these vital to life, unifying attitudes? I know I’ve benefited from them. Indeed, when I had least expected it, one selfless soul had rushed to my rescue.

This all gets backdated to my early childhood, when I first met Danny. His being one year older hadn’t gotten in the way of our becoming best friends. Being next door neighbors, too, meant we could spend countless hours of quality playtime together. In essence, he had become my big brother, I, his little brother.

Of course, once my family had moved out of the neighborhood, everything changed… and not always for the better. You see, in the meantime… or maybe I should rephrase that to say… IN THE MEAN TIME… a handful of my public school system’s bullies were having a grand old time sadistically and mercilessly targeting me with their verbal abuse and physical assaults. They had totally demolished my sense of self-esteem… had literally driven me into abject, social isolation… demoralized me to the point where my already infrequent returns to my (one mile distant) old stomping grounds (to visit Danny) soon became non-existent. Had these bullies severed our brotherly bond, too? Only time would tell…

As one would expect, the passage of time didn’t diminish my tormentors “visits” with me. One day, with my streaming tears further fueling their viciousness and uproarious laughter… just as I was feeling that I could not possibly take it any longer… a raised authoritative, familiar voice began sternly ordering them all to stand down. Nope, it wasn’t the school principal or even a teacher taking charge.

It was none other than Danny!

Factoring in my distraught state of mind and my blurred with tears vision, I had almost deemed him a too-good-to-be-true apparition. I don’t know where he had found such bravery. His being outnumbered FOUR to ONE, I seriously doubt he could’ve stood his / my ground, had this actually come down to physical blows. Indeed, mere moments later, both Danny and I were saved by the bell… the ringing school bell… that had sent us all hurriedly scurrying off to our designated classrooms.

My biggest regret has always been how I had neglected to thank Danny, my big brother on two levels. For his [1] I’ve got your six schoolhouse corridor intervention and [2] imparting upon his little brother… by example, not by intent… his “I’m my brother’s keeper” sensibilities.

To keep all of this real… I do know there’s very little chance that Danny will ever read these words. In fact, he may no longer even be amongst the living. Even so, I’ll say this anyway…

My eternal gratitude to you, Daniel H.
Last known locale: Bremerton, Washington

 

 

 

 

My Sanctuary City’s 5-Star Bistro / Birthing Centre

 

For the past several weeks, quite by surprise, I’ve found myself wearing a diverse array of occupational hats… e.g., proprietor/head chef of a five star bistro (which I hadn’t even known I owned)… silent partner of a suddenly “christened”, necessity is the mother of invention, birthing center… and mayor of a sanctuary city, as it were.

Now, lest I needlessly raise the hackles of overly zealous U.S. federal ICE agents and my own home state’s inspectors of eateries and medical facilities … it is with both sudden alarm and alacrity that I must point out that the hungry patrons (inclusive of a new mom) are none other than a family of rabbits. 1

Undoubtedly, these refugees had been displaced by urban sprawl… the dirty deeds of avarice driven, excessively capitalistic fools… i.e., those who have yet to “meet” a natural, pristine parcel of land that they would not hesitate to violate.

Yes, I do get it… with the level of our global human population on the rise, there is a real need to construct new housing. Even so, would not renovating rather than razing existing homes and apartments slow that sprawl and, in the same breath, be far friendlier to the environment? Would that not show proper consideration for the rabbits and other creatures, which humans are supposed to live in harmony with?

After all, every living organism has a purpose… provides a natural balance within our Creator’s (or if you’d prefer, Ma Nature’s) grand scheme. One would think that in the interest of interspecies amity, humans, allegedly the smartest creatures of all, could find it within their heads and hearts to favor the carrot over the stick?

One wonders if humankind will realize this stark reality soon enough to avert an environmental cataclysm? Time will tell… but… alas… time is also running out… rapidly.

Well, this kindly “mayor” has opted for the carrot… as it were… to welcome my newfound rabbit pals and what a pleasant experience co-existence has been for all. Each new day we’ve been sharing our sit down breakfasts and suppers together… I at my dining room table, indoors, while they’re nibbling away at whatever they choose, al fresco.

As for their specific dietary requirements, most of the lush, verdant, naturally, abundantly growing vegetation within my backyard provides them an “all you can eat” vast smorgasbord of culinary delights.

As for their delivery room / maternity ward needs, mother, instinctively, knows best.

So you can clearly see, my new furry friends are no trouble… not in the least.

Of course, I don’t take my newfound “mayoral” duties lightly. I have felt one overriding concern… namely, unless it’s found within the vegetation, itself, what and where is their water source? Albeit briefly, just as many a restaurateur would do, I did think about setting their “table” with a few shallow containers of water but… factoring in my legitimate worries about standing, summertime H2O being a breeding ground for disease carrying mosquitos (perhaps even inclusive of the Zika virus), “quick as a bunny”, I wisely nixed that notion.

Of course I had actually had nothing to worry about. If needed, located less than a kilometer down the road, there is a creek, which could amply quench their thirsts. For them, the travel time would be no prob, either. On the rare occasions where I’ve unintentionally spooked them, watching them race away in a blur, indeed, establishes how well deserved their “quick as a bunny” reputation truly is.

But even so, that short distance does seem a long way to go. Why would they prefer moving into my yard rather than dwelling closer to that stream? And why my yard vs. the yards of my next-door neighbors?

I think it’s fair to conclude that rabbits find better tasting vegetation growing within my “sanctuary city”. How could they not? Unlike far too many urbanites ISO the picture perfect lawn, I believe stinky lawn chemicals are a bane… not a boon… are likely carcinogens, too.

The perceptive nature of rabbits amply proves they are not dumb bunnies.

NOPE, such nomenclature would be far more appropriate in describing the money-grubbing, land grabbing developers, who so thoughtlessly (oft needlessly) invade and pave over natural habitats. And the same goes for the lawn chemical industry, which (soon afterwards) steps in to con ill-informed new (and current) homeowners into poisoning our entire planet.

 

1 Please keep in mind that my intent is not to trivialize the suffering of human war refugees and émigrés. Indeed, I believe this blog will demonstrate how man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds.