Most animal lovers understand that our world is far from perfect. Having seen the highs and lows of caring about our four legged friends, we’ve decided that the human animal relationship is a worthy investment. Every new year brings new lessons and new challenges. Looking ahead, here are some ideas for putting our best paws forward.
You can’t always judge a book by its cover, and you can’t always judge a new friend by their shape or style. From kittens and parakeets to lions, tigers, and bears, we’ve been presented with all kinds of unpredictable but seemingly workable relationships this past year. Maybe it’s time to let go of our preconceived notion of what it means to get along like cats and dogs. Take it from these two unlikely candidates, a good connection is all that really counts...get out there and make some!
We may have heard that if we can dream it we can do it, but how many of us believe that we can actively shape our lives to be what we want them to be? The truth is lots of people do the seemingly impossible all of the time, and the significant difference between us and them is the ability to see beyond obstacles. Sure, there’s a huge boulder in front of that road, but beyond that boulder you can see a hint of blue skies and sandy beaches. If that’s where you want to be, don’t choose the clear road that leads to a much less desirable location. Take it from Maru, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Who doesn’t want a bigger bang for their buck? We can increase our impact on what we believe is important by making better choices. What may require little effort or sacrifice on our part, can be life saving for another. Even if that other is far removed from us, and remains unseen, we should face the truth. Our every day choices count somewhere. Here are some ideas to better put your action where your heart is…
Living is stressful, and trying to do the right things can be even more so. Taking good care of yourself is essential to being truly effective in helping anyone else. Just because we can take on more than what is manageable, doesn’t mean that we should. Take the time to completely shut down for a while or to do something relaxing, and live to fight another day. Choosing our battles wisely and guarding our happiness, is not selfish. It simply allows us to be our best selves. Find out what can put a smile on your face, and opt in. Often!
The idea of good things coming to those who wait might promote a patient outlook, but it’s not an effective way to bring about positive change. Yes, errors will be made, and yes, setbacks will occur. But, worthwhile efforts require us to accept this as just part of the process of moving forward. If we can manage not to panic, and to let go of past mistakes, we will reap the rewards that come from stepping outside of our comfort zone.
Now, let’s get ready to continue working to make the world a kinder place this year!
Judith Baldwin has been involved with JCN since 2012, a year after the natural & nuclear disasters in Northeastern Japan. She’s been volunteering and helping the JCN shelter in many different ways. We’re lucky to have her with us this month at the Inawashiro shelter. Here’s a glimpse of her journey with JCN.
As some of you might remember, Claude and Peanut from JCN Inawashiro were adopted in November last year. Here's a sneak peak into their new lives as Nikko (Claude) and Durin (Peanut) from their mommy, Shweta Verleker.
Show your support for the cats and dogs of Fukushima with our new shirts. Get in quick for a limited time only discount!
Tokyo 2 Tohoku fundraisers visit the shelter, the Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese raise funds for JCN, and Jim feeds more cows.