Geri-Antics: Priorities

Published 4:00 pm Friday, June 3, 2022

By Anne Carmichael

Columnist

Let’s be honest, it’s the things that directly impact each of us as individuals that we prioritize as most important.

When comparing the everyday tasks with which we are confronted such as feeding our household vs the enormity of the starving masses throughout the world; or filling our vehicles with gasoline vs the factors that have skyrocketed the cost per gallon (supply/demand, costs of refining, etc), it’s what directly effects us personally that is our primary focus.

Our child’s runny nose tops our concern with affordable healthcare for the rest of the world every time. That’s human nature.

I am, however, confounded as to the shift in priorities of my fellow man during the current post-pandemic and war-torn global suffering.

Just today, I read a news story about a pet tortoise who had been missing from his owner’s home for more than 30 years, only to saunter from a storage room unscathed.

There were 5.5 million comments and shares of the article, most of which condemned the owner and expressed outrage that more hadn’t been done to find the reptile. Words such as  loneliness, fear and confusion were human feelings attributed to the tortoise. That’s when I became concerned for the manner in which we seem to be setting our priorities.

I love my animals as much as the next guy. I tell them goodbye when I’m leaving and talk to them when I’m at home.

I love other people’s pets as well.

The majority of my social media as an author and public figure is filled with photos of lost pets and articles with tips on caring for our fur babies. But ask me to consider their needs ahead of those of my own family and loved ones and there will be a major deficit between those two priorities.

I am often asked to donate to medical needs of animals that have been abused or wounded or for which extraordinary lifesaving measures are being taken to extend their lives. While I was still the workforce with some disposable income, I contributed whatever I could to causes that I deemed worthy and that I felt would actually be in the animal’s best interest (and not prolonging suffering for a lifetime).

Now, I have had a shift in priorities. When innocent children continue to be put in harm’s way  because society and our government refuse to allot financial support and legislation necessary to protect them, I place the safety of children above animals.

When living/breathing men, women, and children are being slaughtered in their own homes by invading military troops, teenagers kidnapped, trafficked, and enslaved, individuals who have had a ‘difficult upbringing’ using that as an excuse for massacring innocent children in schools, the time has come to re-prioritize what’s truly important to the survival of the planet.

Remember when the teacher would catch you chewing gum or eating Luden’s Cherry Cough Drops like they were candy? She’d say, ‘If you don’t have enough to share with everyone else, then spit it out.’

Well, if you have enough disposable income to save the animals, that’s terrific and please send them a couple of dollars for me; but look around at the humanity that’s suffering first and do whatever you can to protect and save our world (or at least your corner of it).