Perspective is everything
Our perspective defines our worldview
The way we were raised
The way we have been taught to see others.
Perspectives for some are stagnant
Even if they don’t make sense
They remain the same
Because of a refusal to listen.
Perspectives for others are fluid
For the open-minded, limits are boundless
Human connection has long been
Something celebrated, something that is needed
At the core of humanity, and yet
It’s still a profound obstacle in society.
How do we overcome this barrier?
This relentless cycle of division?
How do we foster empathy?
We look to a second source.
We look to the companions that
Have been our friends for centuries
That have brought out the qualities that make us human.
When we welcome pets into
Our private space, our home
We learn kindness
We learn to care for someone else.
When we give our pets food
Water and toys
A bed to sleep in
We learn to be attentive to someone else’s needs.
When we give our pets love
Cuddle them when it storms
Scratch that spot just behind the ear
We learn compassion.
A pet teaches us so much
Morality, the way we want to be treated
The way we should treat others
And the relationships that spring from reciprocated love.
If we could all
Open our hearts to each other
In the same way we open our hearts to pets
The world may be a little brighter.
If we could
Listen, respect one another
Love one another, uplift one another
Empathy can become second nature.
As an intern at Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe, I continue to learn each week how much we can learn from our pets. From building character to teaching responsibility, animal care benefits us in a variety of ways. Empathy is a significant component to human connection, and our pets can better prepare us to listen, be kind, and respect others.