Splendid Sorrow

Life can get us down. Life can be cheerful and blessed one moment, then morose and chaotic the next. 

When we speak for those that cannot, we subject ourselves to the harsh reality that is the world. Often times we may be berated, harassed, called extremists and fanatics. All because we recognize the injustice animals suffer, and choose to vocalize it rather than remaining silent. 

Then there are the times we are victorious. Whether it be by helping a friend make the transition to a vegan lifestyle, adopting a pet from the local shelter, or donating money to a rescue so they can continue helping their animals. There is an instantaneous moment of joy, sometimes followed by a feeling of sadness. Sadness for all of the animals continuing to be slaughtered for food, sadness for the other animals in the shelter without homes, sadness for the animals who were not fortunate enough to find refuge in a shelter. The sadness comes from realizing all those we wanted to, but could not, help. 

And those feelings, are okay.  

We are constantly told by those around us to stay positive. 
"You make a difference." 
"That one animal is safe because of you."
"You're part of a ripple effect." 

We're told not to fret over the changes we cannot make, not to obsess over the choices of others and to be grateful for the small changes that will lead to the greater ones. But you don't have to. 

Feel sad. Feel helpless. Feel small. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you need. Give yourself time to wallow, to empathize, to ache. Because when we do that, we open our hearts and we expand our circle of compassion to a greater level. 

Giving ourselves the opportunity to recognize the wrongs in the world, allows us to appreciate the rights. Turning a blind eye is never a solution, and remaining aware and sensitive to our surroundings only improves us as human beings. 

Ignorance is bliss. People want to be happy. Society wants to be happy. The mass populous does not want to see reality, because reality can be difficult to accept. When the weight of the world, the suffering, and the pain comes crashing in around you, embrace it. Because feeling, no matter happy or sad, is a step to re humanizing the human race. Once we are human again- feeling, living, emotional beings - we will not be able to shut our eyes to the pain of others. And change will follow. 

So the next time a friend is in need of comfort, lend an ear. Listen. Sorrow is not the enemy, but rather a necessary step we all must take. For it leads us through the darkest tunnels and on the other side, is a better and brighter future. 

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