|Edwina, scared and timid, arrives|
on transport and is greeted by
AHS staff, Melissa, with love,
patience and reassurance.
I continue to hold in my heart a dream and a vision that for those of us passionate about animal rescue and welfare, that we can work together in a positive, collaborative and respectful manner … that we can suspend judgment of others, seeking first to understand than to be understood; that when challenged with viewpoints, values and perspectives different from our own that we rise above walls of divisiveness that can rise fast and furiously, and make a conscious choice to reach out in kindness, compassion and understanding; that we reach, yes, for the stars, for the highest possible layer of what brings all of us together, focusing on the good and on the potential of what can emerge from collaborating, and the sharing of resources and ideas; that we set aside our own egos, our own agendas and we work together for a higher common good; that we all collectively take ownership of causes near and dear to our heart, and eliminate any Us versus Them thinking; that we honor, respect and value the diversity we all bring which in the end strengthens us as a community.
Over the years as I have immersed myself deeper into the world of animal rescue and animal welfare, I have learned how little I know; how there is no black and white – just a lot of grey; how it’s far more important for me to ask questions in my quest to deepen my understanding than to spout off what I believe are my truths and answers to problems; and how important it is for us to work together.
I have chosen my cause to focus on right now to be animal welfare ... regardless of what your cause or passion is there will be someone or some group that will have a different view point, different approach and a different set of values. We must reach beyond our differences and find common ground, and in the process we must reach out our hands, open our hearts, and learn to listen, truly listen, without judgment. We must, in my humble opinion, be more like the beloved animals we work tirelessly to rescue and re-home. Ironically, in our efforts to help these beautiful beings, in the end, we are the ones receiving even greater gifts.
"I do not go to a meeting merely to give my own ideas. If that were all, I might write my fellow members a letter. But neither do I go simply to learn other people's ideas. If that were all, I might ask each to write me a letter. I go to a meeting in order that all together we may create a group idea, an idea which will be better than all of our ideas added together. For this group idea will not be produced by any process of addition, but by the interpenetration of us all." - Mary Parker Follett.
"Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." ~ Eugene V. Debs
Leech Lake Legacy is just one example of a collaborative effort of individuals, rescues, shelters, and businesses coming together to help the animals of Leech Lake Reservation.