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The circle of caring


Today, I am re-circulating this video, not to convince those who do not care about other species, but to help those who do care and who do help. This was prompted by some recent interactions in certain groups, and I think it is really important to understand this concept, especially in light of the viciousness with which people like Greta are targeted by certain individuals - I heard everything from her having "evil eyes" (with the possible implication that she may be "devil's spawn" and should therefore be eliminated), to a host of conspiracy theories, with a fervor that reminds me of films about how Ku Klux Klan members treated those who made peace with other races 30 years ago, or Nazis treated those Germans who hid their Jewish neighbors in Germany in the early 1940s. The viciousness of the attacks seems completely out of proportion to what she is actually doing and what she stands for, so there is clearly something more going on than a difference of opinion about policy.


One of the most puzzling behaviors of humans is not always that they hurt animals, which is easily explained by humans' lesser nature, or that they simply don't help animals in need, which is simply explained by laziness or selfishness. No, one of the most puzzling behaviors by a certain type of human is that they actively attack people who do help, although there is clearly no problem, to the point of not just total intolerance of any normal animal behavior, but inventing imaginary illnesses, witch hunting them in the neighbourhood, and making their lives in general a complete hell. This can turn to extreme malicious behavior that these people would never dare to display in any other context.


It puzzled me no end, because initially, I took their explanations seriously, like they were concerned about diseases (and yet an explanation about zoonotic diseases and that very few diseases animals can have can actually be transferred to humans just seemed to make them angrier), or their claims that they felt so deeply about their plants they didn't want to be scratched - yet their children or grandchildren could uproot the entire garden and only received a smile and a mild rebuke.

In fact, they'd go out of their way to find something wrong with the animal you were helping. After realizing it had nothing or very little to do with the reality of what the animal was doing, I just saw this as a sign of extreme selfishness and self-absorbed attitude initially. Then I thought that by keeping others from helping, they were simply justifying their own laziness as "normal" and therefore acceptable behavior.


Yet, some of the attacks were just too vicious to make sense, until I understood the concept of the "Circle of caring", as explained in the recent video which is again attached below. It threatened their sense of importance, their sense of superiority, their sense that they were more worth as a species than other species (and therefore worth of love and admiration). In short, they were jealous of the attention, which absolutely explained the viciousness and extreme measures, which sometimes resembles the viciousness that would could be seen amongst humans in previous stages who helped someone outside the "Circle of Care" that existed then, like someone in an intensely tribal community who would help a member of another tribe during a time of conflict or scarcity, or a member of one nation who helped someone who by other members of the community was deemed a part of "the enemy", and there are more examples of the same. It's the inability to care for someone else than what's considered "our own" at any given time. Enforcing the boundaries of who belongs to "our own" via peer pressure is supposed to protect the group.


Unfortunately, that is short term thinking, like curing a depression with a bottle of wine - in the case of wine or other substances, it helps in the short term and then leads to dependency and more depression, in the case of a small "Circle of Care" it leads to abundance in the short term for those in it, while those on the outside suffer, but war and destruction in the long term.


Animals and nature are part of the widest circle, so people need to have a quite evolved sense of inclusion and compassion to see them as part of "our own", and as a species, we aren't there yet. Some of us are, the species may be on the verge of it, but there are still those who hang on to the past, what in another context we would have termed "Ewig Gestrige", or those living forever in the yesterday.


It helped me no end to understand that. It doesn't necessarily make conflicts easier, but you can see these conflicts for what they are and act accordingly.

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