The Importance of Balance in Nature

 

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
Albert Einstein

“The good man is the friend of all living things.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Watching the news as I do at least once a day, I like to see the end of the serious bulletin followed by a spirit-lifting report of kindness shown to people or animals in need. One time there was a crowd of people who lifted a train to free a woman’s leg that had become trapped between the platform and the train.  A day later there was a story of two kittens born without back legs, but who despite their disability could walk and jump without problem, using their tails to help them balance. They were being well cared for at the Rescue Me animal charity in Liverpool.

 

 

And here is the important point: we are living in turbulent times and the bad happenings have to be balanced by highlighting the good ones that will always prevail.

“Through the Woods” by Yasmin Williams will soothe your spirits

A few years ago the international, heroic rescue of the young boys from a flooded cave in Thailand and just recently our national football team’s efforts to win the EURO 2020 brought such a feeling of goodwill and the realisation that when it is needed, we are united and the world is not such a bad place after all.  Not long ago I read the blog of someone writing about the injustice in treating animals, and while it is a fact, the author concentrated wholly on the horrors, which almost left me feeling despondent. The same writer specialises in animal aggression and anger. We cannot perceive natural behaviour in animals in negative terms. Nature is red in tooth and claw.  Comparing the lion or shark killing to eat with humans who murder or attack old people for money or strangers for no reason at all, would be hypocritical in the extreme.  All reports of cruelty to humans or animals alike should always end with the response of thousands of ordinary, decent people all over the world who instantly start a tsunami of donations, and who are not only raising money but send messages of love and concern.  This is why I believe in hope for mankind. Today I would like to write on the flip side of the same coin, the very good in helping animals by humans. And how animals respond to human kindness, even when in many cases they were previously subjected to neglect and cruel treatment. The world-famous writer and vet, James Herriot, whose books about his work sold in millions, wrote this observation after a life devoted to helping all sorts of creatures:  “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”

A Breathtaking Piano Piece by Jervy Hou

In the village of Sourton in West Devon, the 14th-century St Thomas a Becket church was closed to the public for a good few weeks because a family of blue tits was found to be nesting in its lectern. So no worship for the congregation, no bell-ringing until all the fledglings had left the nest.

 

Battersea Power Station in London had to build a special new tower for a nesting site for peregrine falcons at a cost of £100,000  before being able to start reconstruction work. The falcons had used one of the station’s old wash towers as their nesting site and as they are a protected species, they had to have a new home built before the humans had theirs.

There is a wonderful story from the USA of a duck making a nest on the window ledge of an office building some floors above street level. Each year when ducklings are ready to leave the nest, a human chain of office workers and passers-by is hurriedly formed outside on the pavement. The tall men catch each duckling as it falls when pushed off the ledge by the mother duck, while other workers stop the traffic and exhort the waddling youngsters through the streets and to the nearby park with a large pond. I do hope you are smiling already and feeling better despite the despicable news of the last week.

 

There are charities set up by extraordinary people who care for animals that nobody else would help and usually they would have been put down.  In those sanctuaries, the blind, lame, difficult because of horrific mistreatment by humans, and the victims of life-changing accidents are being nursed back to health, pampered for the first time in their lives and treated with love and respect. They respond with gratitude seldom seen in humans. Oscar Wilde observed this anomaly in humans by writing: “No good deed goes unpunished.”  One such charity is aptly named Broken Biscuits, as these are always thrown away, and the couple who run it provides care and artificial limbs to dogs that have lost them or were born without them.

The Manor Farm Charitable Trust collects all animals that have been rejected or are in immediate danger of being put down and among many there are a one-legged duck and a blind duck, a troublesome donkey, an Anglo Nubian goat that had grown too tall for the liking of his previous owner and had been saved in the nick of time before being prepared to be shot, just to mention a few. The couple who run the sanctuary abandoned their business careers to look after their charges, and their previous skills are evident in the professional way they run the place and raise the £100,000 needed each year to feed and heal the animals.

 

The sanctuary in Los Angeles, ‘Hope for Paws’ is another place, among many, that rescues animals that are often found in dire conditions. We all know about the significant work of the Born Free foundation and the other charities devoted entirely to saving endangered species, elephants, rhinos, primates and many others. Quite recently a book ‘An Elephant In My Kitchen’ by Francoise Malby-Anthony detailed the extraordinary work of those people and the dangers they face daily from barbaric poachers.

This beautiful, deeply touching book also highlights the profound connection between us, humans and animals. After the sudden death of her husband, the founder of the reservation, the herd of elephants that he had saved from being shot for being ‘disruptive’, stood huddled together in front of the gates to the compound where she and her husband lived.  How did they know that he had died that day?  In her own words: “Science has no answers, but to me, their visit made perfect sense. When my husband’s heart stopped, something stirred in theirs, and they crossed miles and miles of wilderness to mourn with us, to pay their respects, just as they do when one of their own has died.” Since then, for the past few years,  on the anniversary of his death, the herd returns to stand by the gates of the compound to mourn Lawrence, the man who saved them.

“Out of Africa” – Theme by John Barry

The spellbinding second movement (Adagio) of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major is the perfect accompaniment to these images of the African plains:

There is not enough space here to write about all the people who do their utmost to save the environment and animals but continuing to draw our attention to their often heroic work is essential, as it is our only hope for the future of mankind. The scientists in Natural Sciences and Environmental Sciences work on practical understanding of our past and present and in what way the changes we create now may impact our future. Humans are the biggest destroyers of life on Earth, that is a fact.

From overpopulation, plastic pollution of the oceans, pollution of the atmosphere and deforestation to concreting more and more green spaces. Phytoplankton plays a vital role as a source of food to marine life and in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but once it becomes even more endangered than it is now, it will affect our ability to breathe. Those who share the same beliefs and values must unite and act now. If we don’t save our planet, who will?

 

 

69 thoughts on “The Importance of Balance in Nature

  1. I need to check out, An Elephant in my Kitchen. That sounds wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you, Jacqui, I love this book!! It moves you deeply.

    Joanna

    Like

  3. Dear Joanna, everything you write here mirror’s my own thoughts. We are certainly a poor species when we treat animals, and the natural world with so much abuse. Of course there is a flip side of goodness but as the human population grows at an unsustainable rate it is inevitable that the abuse of our Mother Earth and all non-human life will continue. Some years ago I made a small donation to an animal rights charity which happened to be in Scotland (I’ve no links to that fine country except that I used to work there occasionally). Since then I’ve become an online volunteer and help where I can. Since then, along with my wife, we’ve been steadily reducing our meat intake. I can’t say yet that we’ll become vegetarians but we’re heading in that direction. We are not alone in changing our traditional habits. And, yes of course, there is hope for the future. A wonderful blog with some beautiful music too. Enjoy the weekend.🤗💖💖🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Ashley, I am so happy to read your wonderful comments, being vegetarian is easy if you use spices and are very healthy.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you again, Greatly appreciated.
    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi there. Poaching is such an enormous problem. One person who is armed, let alone groups of armed people, can cause horrible damage and terrible problems.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you, so much for commenting, There are, of course, people who spend their lives living in the wildness of Africa protecting the animals

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nature cares, and knows just like a mother who knows everything about ones children. I can and must talk about India as this is where i know changes must happen. We have an enormous population, both humans and of cattle; and apart from domestic animals there is little to no education about how to make spaces for birds and other animals in public spaces. May be a developing country, society has other concerns but zero interaction with animals in ones life is only bad for humans for life, how wasted can such life be who cannot experience such beings who are capable of extraordinary love. In my life i have hardly seen a farm that is dedicated to animals, rather only heard of a wonderful Hindi writer Mahadevi Verma, who had a three legged dear at her home and many other animals that i remember and drew inspiration for so many years. Like a co-traveller who travelled with me to far lands, she was absolutely scared to even let any dog come near her but this journey changed her, and it can only happen if we give life a chance, we create such spaces that children grow thinking of them not as caged animals for amusement only but ones whom they can touch, feed, talk to or may be play with.

    This post again tells us, coax us to think beyond ourselves and to think inclusive, may be the hidden message is to grow a heart and give love a chance, the author is truly a lover of all beings as we have seen in her innumerable posts and makes sure the reader does not only read but transform while learning about so many deeds done by animals to us. And we must thank her for being so loving, and importantly for leading the way to nature. Many congratulations.

    Nara x

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you, Narayan, for such astonishing comments!! There is a plan for the farm, just as you have described, and you are the only person who will make it happen. I am elated and honored to read your words.
    Thank you.
    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This was such an uplifting post. Humans have a lot to learn from the gratitude and love that animals show even after such treatment. So many positive stories. This is the best thing I’ve read today

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Thank you, Shweta, for your wonderful comment!!! It makes worthwhile my writing.

    Joanna

    Like

  14. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  15. Heartwarming and beautiful ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you, Ananda, that is very kind of you,!!

    Joanna

    Like

  17. You’re most welcome 🙂

    Like

  18. Great post showing that just little bit of love and kindness goes a long way. 💕🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you, Henrietta, I can only agree with your comment!!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  21. You’re welcome 😁

    Like

  22. I loved this post, Joanna. The way you have talked about the nature and animals vis-a-vis humans has won my heart. It very well goes with Indian psyche that treats nature and animals as gods and goddesses.

    Coming to animals, I have seen on several occasions as to how crows flock together when one of them dies and echo their caw. I think most of us might have noticed this sort of phenomenon. The sensitivity of dogs, cats, cows etc towards humans is well-known, and James Herriot is right when he says that animals are better off than a lot of humans.

    Animal sacrifice for the purpose of eating and that too in the name of religions is one thing that I can’t understand. Though humans act as destroyers of life on the earth, some of them play saviours too. There is a need to encourage such people and organisations to rescue animals. Being savage or civilised is in our hands.

    Thank you so much, Joanna for such a thought provoking piece!!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you, Kaushal, for your eloquent, analytical appraisal, It is rewarding to think that there are people who save animals as their goal in life/

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you, again.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  25. A beautiful post, Joanna. Thank you for sharing this vital information. I, too, am an animal lover, and it hurts my heart to see them abused or uncared for. I was a Humane Society volunteer for many years. And before relocating to the Southwestern US, I actually considered applying for a job at the country’s largest animal sanctuary, Best Friends, in Angel’s Canyon, Utah. As you might already know from reading my blog, I feel that plants and animals are part of the human family, and we all deserve love! 🌞

    Like

  26. It’s my pleasure, Joanna!!

    Like

  27. Thank you, Lisa, it is wonderful to know that so many people share our concern for animal welfare. I will write more about interesting stories of people doing extraordinary things

    Joanna.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hi Joanna,

    “An Elephant in My Kitchen” is one of the books I read that initiated my love, appreciation, and awareness of elephants. The first book is “The Elephant Whisperer” by Lawrence Anthony. I read them out of order, which made no difference to how my heart ached, reading of the horrific acts by humans to these beautiful animals. I just learned that the third book is “The Last Rhinos” also written by Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence. I haven’t read that, but now it’s on my list to purchase. It pains me to think of animals being abused, and I can’t fathom the kind of person who would do such a thing. Animals have so much to teach if humans were willing to learn. Thank you for this detailed and beautiful post. Lauren 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you, Lauren, for reminding me about the book, I love it so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I want to highlight more stories about the people who do extraordinary things to help animals.

    Joanna

    Like

  31. It is our honor to have someone like you amongst us to be true, who fills nature, environment with compassion and love and asks everyone to take part in it.

    Thank you so much again
    Nara x

    Like

  32. Thank you, Narayan, for always making my day with your kindness.!!

    Joanna

    Like

  33. Thank you so much again, Narayan. for being so generous,

    Joanna

    Like

  34. Thank you so much for your kindness.

    Joanna xx

    Like

  35. A nice call to action. It’s super important that we take care of nature now and protect the animals and the planets. It takes all us working to plants, animals, and human beings to keep the ecosystem healthy and flourishing. Another wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Thank you, Benjamin, I am happy that you have joined us, every person counts.

    Joanna

    Like

  37. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Gary, you make some excellent points about animals and their capacity for unconditional love.
    The work of the rescue organisations you mentioned are inspirational and I thank goodness they are operating and advocating for every creature. I love the quote from James Harriet and the amazing story of the psychic elephants. There is so much we don’t understand and we plunder the world as if it is replaceable. It isn’t and the sooner governments understand and act on that, the better for all.
    Thanks for a great read. It stirs me to help more!

    Like

  39. Oops, I just saw my phone’s auto correct changed ‘Gaby’ to ‘Gary’ in the previous comment. My apologies!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Thank you, for your generous comments, and for wanting to join in, no problem with my name, as long you don’t call me Chops, that is a name of an extraordinary hedgehog who inspired my starting my blog.

    Joanna

    Like

  41. Very pleased to meet you Joanna.
    Amanda

    Like

  42. A hedgehog called Chops! How cute!

    Like

  43. Thank you, Amanda, Gaby was very cute and highly intelligen, you can see in older posts how extraordinary he was.

    Joanna

    Like

  44. I am delighted to meet you, Amanda, I hope to see you next Friday/Saturday with the new post.

    Joanna

    Like

  45. what a beautiful post Joanna. Nature is our biggest teacher and animals are so sacred and vital to our lives and give unconditionally. Lovely post and videos. 💖💖

    Like

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