Thursday 19 November 2009

People and Animals; People and People

In her book Dorothy Rowe's Guide to Life, Dorothy quotes Henry Beston, then goes on to draw parallels:

Henry Beston, [writing in The Outer Most House (1928)] about how little we understand animals, said:

Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creative through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move more finished and complete, gifted with extensions of senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners pf the splendour and travail of the earth.

Alas, just as we interpret animals so we misinterpret other people. We think that our way of seeing things is the only right way to see things and we forget that we are all "fellow prisoners of the "splendour and travail of the earth". However, we are free to change.

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