One thing that I have seen consistently throughout life is that when someone has a passion for something, they seemed to be labeled as result of that passion. These labels often include: nerds, extremists, freaks, weirdos, and you can come up with some you've heard or witnessed yourselves. I am guilty of this labeling crime and it hasn't been until recently that things have been put into perspective....and I've stopped and asked myself, "who am I to judge?"
You know, if magic/sci-fi books allow someone to enjoy an evening to themselves by just reading and having some popcorn, then it does NOT mean they're a nerd....if someone quotes bible verses in their facebook status or has one in their email signature, it does NOT mean they're a religion extremist....if someone enjoys a certain style of music, relates to the lyrics, and paints their fingernails black, it does NOT mean they're a freak. Don't let anyone ever criticize you for what truly brings a smile to your face....don't let others point and laugh because they don't understand your hobby/interest.....don't ever allow yourself to feel ashamed because you are a needle in a haystack.
In my case, most people will never understand that when I've had a bad day and I break down in tears, a wet nose nudging my buried face can instantly slow down those tears. In my case, most people will never understand why animal abuse cases literally make my stomach turn and cause my heart to hurt. In my case, I will always hear, "but why? they're just dogs" accompanied with the "she's one of those" that they mutter under their breath. In my case, I got the eye rolling when a college assignment was to make a documentary and I made mine on the dire need for spaying and neutering while videoing the forgotten faces inside my local humane society. But that's my case...and if people are going to label me, I'm proud to wear that label.
I am a living, breathing, contributing member to society. I donate money to my local food bank, I donate stacks of clothes to Goodwill, but I just so happen to feel as though my purpose and calling is through helping animal shelters/rescues & less fortunate animals. I find it unfair for anyone to judge me because I'm unable to shrug it off and not let it bother me when I see a stray dog running through a parking lot...or unfair for anyone to judge me because the links I share on facebook are powerful stories of people who haved saved these 4-legged lives. When I realize a person isn't an animal person, I don't shrug them off by any means, I understand it's not for everyone. But man, is it sure hard for some not to shrug me off.
The way I see it is at least I wake up each and every day with a passion for something. At least I know there's something that will allow me to feel as though I can make a difference. At least I know when I help out, hungry dogs are being fed and sick dogs are being nursed back to health. At least I know that someone, somewhere is smiling when they adopt that dog that was saved from being euthanized and that 4-legged soul will bring them many memories for the years to come.
So perhaps maybe we should turn those labels into positive traits. Instead of nerdy....try intellectual. Instead of extremist....try faithful. Instead of freak....try free spirit.
I'm proud to be a needle in a haystack. And so is he....
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