“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.” – – Ernest Hemingway
When my brother and I were young, we always felt invincible. Whether we were building a ramp for our bikes, scaling the highest tree we could find, or testing what happens if we combine two things that were not designed to be combined, my brother and I constantly challenged ourselves to explore our world and to seize the day. While we were lucky enough to not have death defying moments, we had our share of burns, cuts, bruises and scars to show for not respecting the mortality of our young lives.
As I have progressed through the years I am more careful about the decisions I make and how I interact with things in my daily life. I’m much more risk averse seeking to prolong my life at the expense of achieving a quick thrill from something I will regret later. When I look back on my younger years I can see how far I have progressed in many different areas. I can relate to how far I have come in my knowledge of life and my understanding of animal welfare and I can compare my respect and admiration for others versus what it used to be as I reflect on the definition of my purpose in life as an animal rescuer. I never dreamed as a kid that I would be doing what I am today by helping animals and supporting passionate volunteers and organizations yet here I am connected with a passionate group of rescuers around the world with a common cause.
When you think about nobility, images of kings and queens and princesses likely comes to mind. But nobility is a term that should conjure up pictures of your fellow animal rescuers and yourself instead. The dictionary defines nobility as “the quality of being noble in character, mind, birth, or rank” and lists synonyms to nobility as virtue, goodness, honor, decency, integrity. Both the definition and related words clearly define what you do for animals. You honor them and treat them with decency, and I don’t think anyone would argue the vast amounts of goodness you are projecting into the universe.