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!
Ha ha, nice!! Brian is raising some talent I see! Great vid.
They amaze me at what they can do. She did it all with a five dollar iphone app. I still have a hard time turning my iphone on.
The problem as I see it is not that we want more it’s that there are to many people demanding more with out having to wwwwork for their wants. people confuse wants with needs. they quote the bible passage that states, “ask and you shall receive.” by not reading further to read where God says that he will provide for all of your NEEDS. Less can indeed be better the saying “the one with the most toys wins” in today’s world should read, ” the one with the most toys leaves his heirs with debt they can not repay. As far as the bears are concerned whenever you display wild animals to humans two things happen. 1) the money raised to “help” the animals becomes more important then actually helping the animals. 2) people start giving the animals imaginary human traits and forget that those animals are wild and will harm domestic animals and humans. You’d never believe the grief that I got via editorial comments because the DNR killed the bear that killed our friends donkey and that someone actually took the meat to eat. All simply because people relate all bears to Yogi and picinic baskets.
The yogi bear and Bambi syndrome. I’m very familiar with it. Thank you for your comment Roger. You may have early onset dementia, but you make a lot of sense. I always look forward to what you write.
I think you have hit on a very important point here. More doesn’t always mean better. If we would all be satisfied with having what we NEED instead of always having to have MORE the world would be a much happier place. Just my opinion.
I’m guilty of this myself and struggle with it every day so I’m not throwing stones at anyone.
Oh! So you and I are both guilty! (-;
The way I see it, wanting more itself isn’t the problem. It’s what we want more of and why: more of the Bible or more trashy novels; more helping neighbors or more time to self; more God or more Me; more money so we can have everything we ever desired or more money so we can give more away; more love or more self-gratification and self-pleasure.
Nice job with the video!
Good point, Julie!
totally! I just didn’t know the words to say it that well. thank you, julie
You’re welcome, Raindancer.
You are so right, Ken! Your blog made me think about something I’ve been noticing for quite a while. I’m a teacher and I’ve been noticing this shift in attitude for years now. When my children were young, I chose to have less material wealth so I could stay home, not work and be there for them…and I would do it again! We had less than most families, materialistically speaking, but my girls still remark about how wonderful they thought it was having Mom home and all the fantastic memories of growing up. Today, I see kids who have a lot of stuff (TVs in their rooms, cell phones, the latest toys of all kinds, etc…), but they are SO SAD! There is such a sense of loneliness and sense of need surrounding them; you can just see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. Mom is working and dad is working, all to keep up with the bills that keep coming in to pay for all that stuff! Families are dying and kids are disconnecting on their electronic devices! Isn’t this just a symptom of the bigger problem? MORE! as you so eloquently stated, is killing the baby cubs…and it’s most certainly killing us! God help us before we get too far gone!
Thank you for your comment, Diana.
Many years ago I attended a Navigator training program at Maranatha Bible Camp and we were all to be up very early and expected to spend that time alone in Quiet Time. One girl worried that she would fall asleep as she prayed alone in the woods so she took along an alarm clock ( the old fashion kind that had to be wound). Following our alone time we met for a group teaching time along with singing. Two girls were singing a lovely version of a praise hymn “More Time Alone With Thee, Lord Jesus” when we were all suddenly jarred by the clanging of the alarm clock which “Miss Sleepy” had forgotten to turn off.
I think of that song now and again and lament the fact that I really cannot say that I desire more time alone with the Lord as often as I might.
Maybe we should set an alarm! (-; Thank you for your comment.
I would also point out that many see their Christianity the way the bears saw the people on the platform. If they beg, they get chicken. If they beg MORE, eventually they get MORE chicken.
Don’t get me wrong, I know God WANTS us to come to him with our needs. But I also believe that there are times when He wants us to get off our keisters and do for ourselves.
Good job Lexi!!! Oh, and you too Ken!
Wanting more or asking for more is a way that kids/young bears can test limits to know exactly where their boundaries lie. In the classroom a child that doesn’t have structure and/boundaries is very difficult to manage. A child that has boundaries at home or in school is the same way. Don’t we drive as fast as we are allowed to without getting stopped ? Haven’t we gone from 8 ounce Coke bottles to 64 ounce Big Gulps? I see it as a way that the young learn about the world around them. Without mothers these bears have had no way to learn boundaries or set limits. I see the same thing everyday in school. I can see children who have had boundaries set for them and those that have not. Also, how many of us have children that are better behaved for their teachers than for us? Teachers are good at setting boundaries and it is much easier to do so in a very controlled environment such as school.
In church today, the pastor talked about prayer. The one thing that stuck in my head was how people, myself included, sometimes get impatient with God and say that He did not answer our prayer. MORE IS NOT BETTER AND NEVER WILL BE! God shows us how to take care of what we can, and if we NEED something more He will help us with that. When we have more than we need, we need then to share that with others who need, but when we just hoard it up somewhere for ourselves, it’s never good. It just sits there and rots and then it’s no good to anyone.
In church today, the pastor spoke about prayer. Too often we ask God for more than we need. Then sometimes we don’t hear an answer and make the mistake of saying that God did not answer our prayer. God always answers. It’s just that sometimes Gods’ answer is, “no. you already have enough.” I’m a firm believer in that if you been blessed with more than you need, it is because God wants you to share it with others who don’t have enough. MORE can be a dangerous thing if we use it in the wrong ways!