Monday, July 27, 2009

Those Who Can, Do -- Part 2

or, "The Ellen Tweet"

Earlier this month, I wrote about the great work that horsemen and dog lovers Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta are doing to rescue unwanted and abused dogs. I was honored to work with Danny and Ron as part of my involvement with the USHJA Trainer Certification Program. The ASPCA has recognized their efforts. And literally thousands of mistreated and abandoned animals have found new homes, thanks to them.

(If you can read the story of Oogy on their site without tearing up, I'm not sure I want to ever meet you...)

Now,Ellen Degeneres has taken note of what Ron and Danny are doing. These days, who knows? A single "tweet" from a dynamo like Ellen (whom I just love...) might be enough to encourage hundreds -- or thousands -- of people to get involved in rescuing, fostering, or adopting an animal that, up to now, has led a life of misery.

Think about it.

In this media saturated world, it's easy for we writers to wonder if words have the power to truly move people anymore. But sometimes it only takes 140 characters to make a difference. They can bump people out of their comfort zone, challenge complacency, and provide the impetus for action.

So often I hear people tell me that their dream is to write a bestselling book or celebrity crush-starring screenplay. But when I inquire as to the progress of their pet project, too often, all they can talk about are the obstacles they have allowed to get in their way. It is always easier NOT to do a thing.

Those who can, do. Even if it's uncomfortable, or difficult, or inconvenient. Books don't write themselves. Movies don't film themselves. Abused animals and children can't save themselves. From the creative process to humanitarian efforts, in order for anything to exist, someone must first do something.

Of course it's easier to watch TV than to write a screenplay. It's easier to read a book than to create a story. It's easier to "tsk" sadly when we see mistreatment than to get our hands dirty and remedy the situation. But think of the great works of art and literature, not to mention the countless lives that "ease" has cost our world.

I look at River, once unloved, who is now an integral part of our family. She adores us all, especially my daughter, who plays with her and reads her stories for hours on end. It would have probably been easier to get a dog I didn't have to explain to people. But we would have missed out on so much: her eternal energy, happiness, and love of life infuse the entire house.

So: kudos to Ron and Danny... and to Ellen... and to everyone reading this who feels the Muse inspire them to do something. Here's to worthwhile endeavors that make life such a ride!

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