Hedgehogs, Suffering, Empathy

By now some of you may be wondering what’s my problem with hedgehogs.  (Nicholas Kristof cites Isaiah Berlin, who likens know-it-all experts to hedgehogs.)

Please believe me when I say that from a (slight) distance, I even love hedgehogs.

Other people love them so much they keep them as pets.  I’ve found this website I check in with every day; I’m not ashamed to admit it.  It’s so cute even hardboiled naysayers like me cannot resist.  It’s called Cat of the Day, Dog of the Day, Pet of the Day.

I’m going to write in with Bugs, as soon as I can score me one of those little digital camera thingys in the post-Xmas sales.

One day somebody in Beach Park, Illinois won with Maizy the African Pygmy (alas now of blessed memory).  You may have a problem with the Xmas gewgaws, but come on.  Maizy doesn’t (didn’t) seem to mind.  Or if she did, she wasn’t saying.  Her humans fed her mealworms.

But like I keep insisting on saying, here and to anyone else who will give me bandwidth:  It’s not all sweetness and light.  After you’ve been following Cat-Dog-Pet of the Day for long enough, you start to see just how much suffering must really be out there.  (Have a look at the stories of “Chance,” Cat-of-Day, or “Trooper,” Pet-of-Day, both Jan. 9, 2011.)  Many of these little stories are written by the softies amongst us who rescue and care for some of these hurt beings – Bugs was one – but good lord, how many more of them must there be?  Not going there.

What I’m saying is, there is a place in all G-d’s creation for all G-d’s children.  I mean hedgehogs; foxes; yesterday’s Smoky the French Lop Rabbit, of Essex, England; mealworms; even, I don’t know, black mambo snakes.

You just don’t necessarily want all G-d’s children hopping up right there next to you on your sofa.  But all G-d’s children gotta have a sofa somewhere.  And this is what I mean, about dissenters and nay-sayers like me.

For those of you who just want to get back to what happened with Bugs already, I promise you we’ll get there (avert rogue tornados G-d willing).  But this is my blog and I say this:  It’s long past time to vent about what kind of tornado is going to happen over here if I and those whom I love don’t get empathy, understanding, consideration, and some respect.

I will die.

I will die anyway, so I’m told, but I have no intention of going before my time.  And let it be known that if I don’t get my daily dose of empathy, and I mean all day every day, somebody’s going to emergency, somebody’s going to jail.

You don’t tend to hear hedgehogs talking about empathy.  You hear hedgehogs saying things like this.  Let ex-British Prime Minister John Major – he clearly hadn’t laid eyes on Smoky the French Lop Rabbit of Essex, England – represent educated hedgehogs who sure know how to deploy the English language, when he said this:  “Society needs to condemn a little more and understand a little less.”And then there’s Glenn Beck saying the same kind of thing with our own particular American flavor, when, in a clip of him I stumbled over believe me I need to protect myself from this kind of – well I don’t want to insult hedgehogs everywhere by calling him one – and I did NOT voluntarily listen to this clip where I heard him say, about empathy?  It makes him (I choke) want to reach for his gun.

This was my point yesterday.  Glenn Beck.  One of those wicked unscrupulous optimists, mobilizing false hopes to form marching armies.

But damn I come to, here, to find he’s dragged me down to his level.  My subject is empathy.

Need more coffee.


About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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6 Responses to Hedgehogs, Suffering, Empathy

  1. typist for JhaJha, the Petite Panther says:

    I’m not sure how to exude enough empathy, understanding, consideration and respect through cyberspace to fill your daily dose, but it is our intention. Picture me nodding with a look of loving understanding and JhaJha rubbing up against your ankles.

    Just don’t try to pet her.

    • nadbugs says:

      Total enjoyment. And my hand keeps wanting to extend — all on its own, unbidden by me — to JhaJha, so thank you for the dire warning.

  2. CATachresis says:

    I am not sure what’s what when you mention John Major and Glen Beck in one post! I remember John Major … you know …. like cos I’m a Brit!! But G Beck has escaped my google forays!

    No worries! Empathy I understand. Empathy is good 🙂 and so is coffee ……

    • nadbugs says:

      Oh GROAN Glenn Beck is one of the most inflammatory of a whole host of right-wing ideologues running wild in the media here in the U.S. — cover your ears, dear CAT. And — mope. I’ve been banned from coffee. Have a cup for me. It’s the national equivalent of tea, over here.

  3. IsobelandCat says:

    I love hedgehogs. We don’t see them in London, they would get squished. Not fair to compare with politicians sounding off. Not fair to dress up either.

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