‘Tis the season for reflection and party conversation, for simple answers to complex questions and for small talk and big ideas. That came home with me recently when I was asked, “So what do you do for a living?” Of course, I always eagerly anticipate that question because I love what we do at WRC. It’s also an easy question because what we do at WRC is actually quite simple. We provide medical care for injured wild animals – this year about 8,000 – and provide training to hundreds of students and volunteers.
I’ve found that what we do is seldom a conversation stopper. My answer inevitably leads to another question. “Why do you do what you do?” The answer to this question might seem simple, but it’s more complex and I think quite profound – it’s a big idea.
What we do is about the health of a single animal. While we take pride in our improved medical outcomes, that alone is an incomplete, perhaps even insufficient, reason. Why we do what we do is a reflection of our collective responsibilities as stewards of our world. I believe that by its presence in our community, WRC helps create a culture of hope, compassion and kindness. We provide a place for seemingly small, often individual, acts of compassion; a place for people to act on their instincts to assist.
Indeed, I believe there is a sacred quality to the nature of our work. It inspires us to ask deeper questions about our role on earth. While I believe we should be at the cutting edge of wildlife medicine, science can only tell us so much about whether and what animals feel. But we know that as individuals we feel, and all of us have been touched in some way by the animals with which we share our world, especially when we witness injured and orphaned animals.
As the days shorten and darkness deepens we gather with friends, family and neighbors often to just share small talk about our daily lives, but in a deeper way we gather to celebrate the promise of renewed light and rejoice in the spirit of compassion and hope.
Make no mistake, what we do is a big idea – it does make a difference in the lives we live and world we leave for future generations.
Thank you for being part of this truly inspiring enterprise. I hope we can count on your continued support in the form of a generous year-end contribution to injured animals; and to the spirit of our community.
Warms regards and best wishes for a happy holiday season.