The Reptile Report - The response to my previous Editor’s Desk about things that can go wrong with reptile rescues was very encouraging. Many people stepped forward with examples of rescue organizations...
Put ‘Em Up!
The Reptile Report - I am compelled to jump directly into the fire and speak my mind on what I believe has become a critically flawed rallying cry within our community: “Why can’t we all just get along?”
I don’t know how many times I’ve read the lament that we’re doomed because of all the bickering and fighting that goes on. We fight on forums. We fight on Facebook, on Twitter, in blogs and in videos. You can’t open your mouth (or your keyboard) without someone leaping up to disagree and point out the error of your ways. And because of this, we’re obviously doomed. We’ll never succeed. How could we? We’re not a Unified Force. We don’t speak with One Voice. So let’s all just hang our heads and admit defeat and start making plans to hide our soon-to-be contraband animals.
This is so much bull that it’s difficult to type it out, even satirically.
Just last week, I introduced myself. You can read here: http://thereptilereport.com/welcome-to-the-editors-desk/ if you haven’t read it yet and suddenly find yourself asking, “Who the heck is this big mouth?” I figured my first blog or two after that would be something lighthearted, such as a book review or a “How to Get Along in Forums” sort of thing. This is a little more serious than that, but I hope it will serve as a reminder and an encouragement that we, as a community, are strong and we CAN win.
If you get two people in a room together for an indefinite amount of time, they’re eventually going to fight. When you multiply the number of people, the frequency, magnitude and quantity of disagreements goes up exponentially. Admit it; some of us fight even when there’s no one else in the room to talk to! It’s human nature to disagree and to then strongly defend our own points of view. There is no, and has never been, a Unified Force or One Voice in any successful endeavor. The larger the endeavor, the louder and more dramatic the “disunity” is going to appear.
We have to look past this. Don’t let this be your excuse for sitting back and doing nothing.
Great marriages are sometimes filled with crockery-smashing fights. The disagreements don’t define that marriage. What defines a great marriage is a mutual, unbreakable Commitment to a Purpose—to love unconditionally, support wholeheartedly, and respect unreservedly. And we, as a community, also have a mutual, unbreakable Commitment to a Purpose. We love animals. We want the very best for our animals. And we want to protect our rights to keep the animals we love without the government (or nosy neighbors) breathing down our necks.
We are not going to agree on how to accomplish this purpose. We can’t even agree on temperatures to keep a simple ball python, or how it should be fed. How can we possibly find one mysterious and mystically unified “voice” to bring about the security of our freedoms?
What do YOU believe we should be doing? Figure that out, and then get out there and do it!
Support the people you trust, and don’t be surprised, dismayed, or defeated when you realize there are people out there you don’t trust. That’s nothing new. Read up on early American history sometime. There was no mystical “Unified Force” that brought about a successful revolution and the development of a brand new and highly successful country. There was a tremendous amount of fighting, back stabbing, and no small amount of distrust. BUT, there was also a Commitment to Purpose among the thousands and thousands of people that had a part, big or small, in making it happen.
We fight about big things, such as who should be representing us in the political arenas. We fight about small things like whether or not snakes can live happily in plastic tubs. But that doesn’t mean we’re not unified. We ARE. We love our animals, and we want to keep them. We need to FIGHT to keep them. Don’t worry about, or waste your energy on the internal bickering that will always be going on.
The real fight is the war on our rights and the tide of negative public perceptions about us. We may yet lose that war, but so long as we never ever give up, we CAN WIN it. If we give up even before the war is over, then we’ll lose for sure.
Commit to the Purpose. Commit to do your part, be it big or small. And, for the love of all the animals, DO NOT accept defeat at the hands of some deceitfully false notion that disagreeing is bad for us.
In Your Service,
Chief Editor of The Reptile Report
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