What is the true value that a human sees in another human being? We almost never desire someone immediately, it usually takes good looks, an excellent personality, a desirable sense of humor, considerable income and many other things. We choose what traits we value and place our values on other people. This can be explained easier in an example.
About three years ago a stray cat wandered into my father’s machine shop. It was rainy and he was just looking for a place to sleep. My dad decided we would keep the cat, give him food and water, and let him sleep in the shop. We named the cat Rusty. Unfortunately, Rusty hated me. I tried to pick him up but he scratched up my entire arm and continued to run away. Needless to say, we didn’t have the best relationship. The worst part was I hadn’t done anything to this cat. He just didn’t enjoy me.
About 2 weeks ago, I went over to my father’s shop to put some diesel fuel into the machine I was operating. It was below freezing and pouring rain. All the garage doors of my dad’s shop were closed and I saw Rusty had gotten stuck outside. He was freezing his ass off. Unlike never before, he approached me meowing. He was nearly frozen and just looking to get inside. I ran and got my keys, opened the garage door, and let Rusty in. He ran inside as fast as possible. I grabbed a towel and walked it over to his bed. I was hesitant remembering the last time I went near him, but dried him off anyway. Rusty didn’t scratch or bite, but instead was loving and affectionate towards me for the first time ever. He was like this all because if I wasn’t there, at that exact moment, he likely would have froze to death.
On the surface it looks as though I earned an animal’s love, which I did, but I urge you to not be like Rusty. He did not care if I died or lived until the day that I was valuable to him. He only saw me as something to care about when I had saved him. This is what animals do. They will use you for value in order for them to survive. Whether you are feeding your dog, sheltering a stray cat, or getting eaten by a bear all you are is survival to that animal. I would ponder that we are separate from animals because we have the ability to put ourselves into other people’s shoes without even knowing them. We aren’t animals because we don’t see people as what they can do for us, but instead we value what they bring to the world. I would caution you to not be Rusty, don’t find what you value in people and only like them when they uphold that standard. Treat people with unwavering kindness and empathy and you may start to recognize the people who are animals from the people who are humans.