I was going to write a rant-filled post today, a la Jodi Stone’s WTF Wednesday, after reading this horrifying list on Cracked.com. Unfortunately, I had to go and read Karen Walrond’s inspirational post first, which made me feel guilty for even thinking about adding more anger to blogland.
The internet can be a harrowing place. Before pet blogging I spent a lot of my free time on politically-based websites. The bitter vitriol that was spewed out in comment sections left me sputtering. The more I read, the angrier I became. Everything set me off back then: television commercials, overheard conversations on the bus, comedic one-liners, newspaper articles, magazine advertisements. I quickly became just a seething mass of angry frustration. Nothing was safe from my outrage.
I think what Ms. Walrond says here encapsulates this perfectly:
“I think our general outlook is similar to our bodies: our ability to look at the negative, if exercised like a muscle, gets stronger and more robust, to the point where all we can see is negative. (And I think this is true, even if we try to wrap up these expressions with a wink and wry smile, even if we think we’re being funny or entertaining. Negativity is insidious this way.) And if all we see is negative, then happiness and joy necessarily make their departures.”
Please don’t think I was miserable. There were still many joyful moments of gratitude in my life. However, in the midst of the pleasant times, I would see something out of the corner of my eye in a store that would have me grumbling out loud. It must have been very annoying for those around me.
I have described all the numerous ways Shiva has changed my life, but blogging about Shiva has also had a large impact. The comments on posts about adorable puppies and the pros and cons of feeding raw aren’t nearly as fractious as those regarding minority rights. Once I entered the pet side of blogland, I didn’t have the time to check out the daily galling political news of the day. Eventually I was only reading about the latest attack on women’s issues once a week, and then once a month. Slowly, my daily rant at the television screen turned into a simple eyeroll. With Shiva on my brain, I had more important things to stress over.
It’s not that I don’t feel anger toward these things anymore – they are still very important – but I have learned how to better pick my battles. There are many things in the world of animal welfare that tick me off. There are many things worth yelling about, from abusive training methods to puppy mills. It’s all out there and it all needs to be discussed for the purpose of effecting positive change.
They keyword being positive. Hollering about my distaste of pet perfume isn’t doing anything to make the world a happier place, even if it makes me feel better for a few minutes.
Instead, as per Karen Walrond’s suggestion, I am going to share some of the things I found on the Internet that are making the world more beautiful today.
- At the age of 93, this woman is officially the world’s oldest yoga instructor. She looks gorgeous and amazingly strong, doesn’t she? Wowzers.
- Animal Planet has a new blog called “Daily Treat” that showcases animals doing what they do best: being adorably entertaining.
- Success Just Clicks is hosting a contest for Dog Bite Prevention month. The prizes include music from Through a Dog’s Ear. This is definitely going to be something worth checking out!
- Speaking of Through a Dog’s Ear, The Poodle (And Dog) Blog shared a lovely video yesterday of the music being streamed through a shelter with incredible results.
What did you find beautiful today?