“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie
Since I was young, one of the lessons my parents imparted on me was that you should be grateful for what you have. While we were not poor, we were by no means living a middle-class lifestyle and my parents made sacrifices to ensure us kids had everything we needed and more. We had to make choices and from the earliest days that I can remember, we had to work for an allowance and save our money for the things that we wanted. I remember saving for more than 3 months to purchase a $120 bicycle that I wanted and I was never as proud as the day that I had enough quarters and dollars to go to the store and purchase it.
When I started Doobert, I was still new in animal rescue. Full of passion, devoid of knowledge and inspired to do more and save more. Like so many other new websites and software platforms, when I started Doobert we had zero volunteers and zero organizations that were signed up. I have to tell you that it is a very humbling feeling to launch something and know that it is very possible, and likely that nobody will sign-up or benefit from your hard work. There was a part of me that wanted to criticize those that were not using the software because of their failure to see the possibilities of what it could do. I wanted to shout at them that their approach was inefficient, impractical and rooted in the past.
However, when I launched it, the words of my parents resonated in my mind that I should be grateful. Not grateful for what I have, but grateful for those that I encounter that have dedicated their lives saving animals. It struck me that being grateful is more than having an appreciation for what one has, it means having an appreciation for life, for our place in it, and for the positive things and lifeforces that surround us. Being grateful means recognizing the positive energy and intent that others have for saving animals, instead of criticizing them for what we perceive as doing things the wrong way.
The animals that we help are grateful for our assistance. While they may not know why we are helping or what situations they may have faced without us, they are grateful in their own way that we have altered the course of their life in a positive way. This could be something as simple as providing them food, water, and warmth, or maybe through transporting them from one location to another hopefully on their journey to their forever home.
Being grateful is something I find myself working on constantly since it is so easy to fall back into having feelings of expectation or impulses that drive my competitive spirit or even moments of ego and pride that bring out my domineering tendencies.
Deep down I know how grateful I am for every volunteer and every organization that is using Doobert to save lives. I am grateful that they share my passion for animals, and hopeful that our successes together will be greater than our individual activities would have been. I am grateful for all of the support, kind words and encouragement that I have received over the years as the appreciation refills my passion cup to do more so we can save more.