I recently visited the “Fortress of the Bear” sanctuary in Alaska where cubs who have lost their mothers are rescued and nourished. In Alaska, it is illegal to return a cub to the wild if its mother has been killed. The law requires that cubs be destroyed.
The sanctuary was conceived to save the cub’s lives. Originally they wanted to keep the bears from any interaction with humans. No special training. No behavioral interference. Just platforms that would allow people to view the bears.
But the bears had different ideas. It wasn’t long before the sanctuary workers observed the bears responding to little children who waved to them from the observation platforms. The bears started waving back.
I personally watched these bears use sign language to communicate their wishes to their keepers. Watch this video for yourself. See if you can guess what word they are signing that might be destroying us. And if the bears got their way, it could destroy them.
(Thank you to my granddaughter, Lexi Scheer, age 11 who edited and produced this video.)
The first word the bears learned in sign language was MORE! That’s the word that might be destroying us. Did you notice that when the biggest bear demanded more food and was not immediately gratified she showed her displeasure with an angry swipe of her paw. The keeper told us she gets very grumpy and anti-social when she doesn’t get her way or when she senses that other bears got more than her. All of this made me think.
I wonder if part of the reason our country faces a financial crunch is because we have an ever increasing, impatient demand for more? Even if when can’t afford it.
I wonder if one of the reasons we are so unfulfilled as individuals is because we never stop wanting more?
I wonder if the dignity of human kind has been diminished because we place a higher value on having more than we place on being better?
This isn’t a rant or a political statement of any kind. It is an honest question that has been nibbling at the edges of my consciousness for some time now. Would you and I be more satisfied and productive if we knew when to say enough? So here are my questions.[reminder]Is there ever a time to say, I have enough? Is there ever a time to forfeit more for better? I would love to know what you think.[/reminder]
By the way, it is interesting to note that most of female bears that are killed in Alaska are destroyed because they learn to eat garbage. It is a way to get MORE without exercising the skills that would allow them to survive and save their cubs. When the bears sacrifice “better” on the altar of “more,” they die!