I Can’t Save a World that Won’t Be Saved

I sat in the hallways of a courthouse recently waiting for my turn to testify in a custody case. You might be surprised to learn that, as a Child Protective Investigator, I am far more likely to have to testify in a custody dispute than in a criminal trial.

As I listened to the families in the case in turn berate each other and then me, it struck me once again how some people make me feel sad.

from http://think.faesthetic.com/
from http://think.faesthetic.com/

Yes, a mother or father may have been a drug addict or suffered from untreated mental illness or was abusive several years ago, but if TODAY they’re taking appropriate care of their children, I am not going to remove those kids from that parent. And I’m not going to apologize for my actions. Tons of research shows that children do best with their parents. So if a parent is doing nothing wrong today, I would be the abusive one to remove the children from that home.

It’s not so very different with some people who “love animals”, and talk trash about topics they really don’t know much about.

Like when they see one strategically placed advertisement from a group they’ve never heard of before and decide that HumaneWatch has the goods on the Humane Society of the US, then refuse to support HSUS. If they’d just first bothered to Google HumaneWatch, they’d learn it’s fronted by a lobbyist for the puppy mill and animal agriculture industries.

Or those that freely send money to people they meet on Facebook that are doing “good work for animals,” only to later learn they were really sending money to a hoarder or con artist. Hey, it’s your money and you can give it to whomever you please. But if you REALLY want to help animals, don’t you think that money would be better spent by a legitimate rescue working hard every day to make your own community a better place? My philosophy has always been that if the locals won’t support a rescue, there might be a reason for it.

The other thing I realized sitting in that courthouse hallway is that zebras don’t change their stripes. Haters gonna hate no matter what, and it’s not worth me wasting my energy trying to argue with them.

from Mimi and Eunice http://ninapaley.com/mimiandeunice/2010/11/09/saving-the-world/
from Mimi and Eunice http://ninapaley.com/mimiandeunice/2010/11/09/saving-the-world/


It hurts my heart to realize many families teach their precious children that love is conditional. These children will pay for the sins of their parents, and many will pass that lesson on to their own children. It also hurts my heart to see the number of animals that are harmed thanks to assistance of those who think they’re doing something good.

Today I know I can’t save the world, because the world simply can’t be saved by the people it needs to be saved from.



33 thoughts on “I Can’t Save a World that Won’t Be Saved

  1. You have such a hard job! Bless you for doing what you do. You may not realize it but you are helping people and saving the world.

  2. It is moment by moment, I think, but oh, what is possible in a moment! I remind myself that the moment is all I ever have so I do the best I can where I am and as I am. I enjoy your posts.

  3. So much reality in this post.
    If more would stop wringing hand at the “horrors” (at a distance from them), and just look around in their own area for ways to help and cautiously give money locally – each putting effort into what’s right around them, the work would be more effective and efficient. Trust your own eyes and ears, not those of others? Little things count – every one no matter how small.
    Thanks for taking a stand and doing hard work. Anyone who works with desperate families and children carry so much home with them. Rumpy and the gang ease some of it…but there alway that one pair of eyes that haunts for years….
    Be gentle with yourself when you can. Avoid that burn out…look at that Rumpy smile! HUGS Jen. and wishes for a Happy Day for all

  4. Rumpydog, I don’t understand the human joy in finding fault except that people find themselves so faulty they have to point out that everyone else is as well. Unfortunately it leads to a lot of hurt. Thank you for sharing.

    And I have to tell you that when I began this message I typed “Grumpydog”. Not sure what that means, but it struck me as funny.

  5. You might not be able to save it on your own, but every time 1 person commits to 1 action to make the world a better place we are better off. I have always told my children: “Sometimes you have to act, even when you KNOW the act will do no good, because not acting is not an option. If everyone did nothing because they believe nothing will change because of their action then nothing will ever change. A snowball begins with one tiny snowflake…and look how powerful a snowball can be when it gathers other snowflakes and picks up speed.”

  6. I really really understand what you say about the Haters. The saddest thing in the world is to come up against true learned prejudice. I am sending magic thoughts for your beautiful heart. I don’t want it to be feeling hurt. c

  7. Working as a volunteer in animal rescue has shown me the worst side of human cruelty. It does not help knowing the children of these monsters will in all likelihood learn and accept similar behavior. Some days it is difficult to keep going, but that is what those who care must do. Take heart in the fact you do care. In the darkness, your light shines bright and makes the acceptance of hate uncomfortable. This is a good thing no matter how futile it sometimes appears.

  8. If anyone can make a change to help better one heart at a time, it’s a dog. Aside from that, I’m sadly afraid your words ring true, how can one help someone who won’t help themselves, who point fingers in the blame game, etc. Just gotta trudge on, one doing our best as we can action at a time. Sending you a very special hug to pass along to Jen for all the hard/difficult work she does.

  9. That’s right Jen, but you can be there for the ones that can be saved. You just need to continue to do as you have been doing and not letting yourself get consumed by other’s toxicity. We help were we can and help no one by beating our heads against a wall. That just injures us too in the end. It is important to not fee guilty when we need to walk away for self preservation. Keep a clear view and clear mind. Love your fur babies and do something that brings you pure joy 🙂
    Marty’s Mom

  10. I’m glad you do what you do. You are sane, compassionate, can see how to help beyond the present. I know we tease a bit when we say, “You can’t fix stupid.” And you can’t fix a world and it’s people if there is no commitment. Save those you can.

  11. What a job you have…and I agree case by case and step by step…I myself was raised with conditions..my life worth what I could do for my parents…I haven’t taken this in to my parenting..i raised our kids to know they were loved no matter what ..told them every day I loved them..taught them the things that matter ..sometimes a bad childhood can make a good parent..not a perfect one but one that can change what could be a family tree of continuing dysfunction. Take heart..not all the world is rotten to the core..hugs Fozziemum

      1. Exactly…and in the same family..we are all very different…and the fractures run deep….it is sad that some repeat the hurt.

  12. There’s a lot of truth here and extends out to all causes. How many times do we see people get all up in arms against an organization because they did one small thing that was unpopular. Most times no one asks the group the “why.” There may be a logical reason. People just hop on a bandwagon and boycott. It’s why I like animals better than people!

  13. I don’t know how you keep doing what you do, personally and professionally. I did rescue work for a while and it gave me nightmares. Eventually, I just couldn’t do it any more. I deeply admire your dedication and I’m astonished that you are able to keep going. All honor to you!

  14. Remember (I can’t remember it fully so I’m paraphrasing) but saving a dog will not change the world, but it will for that one dog. What you do matters more than you may ever realise!!

  15. We change the world around us, by doing good deeds, being kind and tolerant. We can’t change it all, but by spreading the light, the world will vibrate at a higher level x.

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