(photo by Sherry Moore – SM Photography)
I was in my front yard this afternoon refilling my bird feeders. I suddenly see a 17+ old teenager running down the street, past my house, and stop a couple of houses down. I went back to my feeders because after all it’s just a teenager running down the street. It’s what a lot of of them do here because they are athletes in school. However, a short time later I hear a long scraping sound. I look up. Oh, no.
The teenager had found a large turtle and started kicking it down the road. I watched kick it around in circles and then give a strong kick and down the road it went. The teenager walked up to it, kicked it in circles, and another strong kick. Trying to maintain a sense of calm I called out to the guy. You never know these days what anyone will do when called out. The threat of violence is always a possibility. So, I carefully considered my words. Did I mention that this guy’s mother was one door down from me on the other side of the street? Yeah. She was at her car waiting on him.
I said, “Whatcha got there? A big ‘ol turtle?” The teenager nodded. I continued, smiling, “Just kickin’ ‘im down the road, huh?” The guy shrugged his shoulders. I then suggested, “Hey, why don’t you just leave him there and I’ll take care of him.” The young man kicked him around in a circle, still. I then sternly, but calmly said, “Just leave him there and I’ll take care him.” He stopped and looked at me. “Okay?,” I asked. He nodded and right then his mother yelled out his name to get in the car. He ran down to her and they left. I let out a big breath relieved they were gone. This particular family is known to have pretty much no respect for their neighbors. Loud music, basketball with the thump, thump, thump into the wee hours of the morning, etc. The police have been there a few times for whatever reason at times. In other words, what this kid was doing was not really a surprise, but it still completely disgusted me.
While their car was still leaving I walked out to the road and picked up the turtle. He probably weighed about 3-4 pounds. I carried him to my garage and got my husband to come and see him. We have a lot of turtles in our shared pond. This little guy was actually a tortoise. Land-dwelling. I picked him up and placed him in a grove of trees. I haven’t named him yet…but I am sure I will come up with something fitting later.
As a incredibly smart species on Earth we can be rather stupid when it comes to our little planet. I could argue the case for taking care of it all day long and debates would rise up from those who firmly believe that all animals are “dumb” and do not possess emotions. People are going to choose their own ignorances to brand their consciences. I can’t change that. They have to have their own revelations to overcome it.
I only want to offer a small grain of truth to anyone reading this. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, an atheist, or whatever religion. This one little nugget applies to all humans.
The animals were here first and we are supposed to have respect for all nature.
Science is in agreement with this. The Bible is in agreement with this. All religions…to my immediate knowledge…is in agreement with this. The ones who are not choose not to be as intelligent as they should be or can be.
As a Christian, I view the wanton disregard for nature as not only an ignorant mind, but after they are told the truth and still continue on in their ignorance as an act of Satan in their lives.
The lack of the teaching of science regarding respect for all creatures is unacceptable. I truly believe because of the parents not teaching their children to be kind to all of nature and the lacking in our schools to teach it is partially why there is so much violence from kids today. We have failed our generation. we have failed our children and our grandchildren. We have failed Earth. We have failed God who commands us to take care of what He created for us.
Please, if you are a parent, teach your children respect…for everyone and everything. Teach them kindness. Teach them to be servants who can lead others to do the same. Teach them love for all. Hatred for none.
“God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
“Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”
– Genesis 1:26-28 (The Message Bible)