Monday, November 19, 2012

Pay more attention to your actions

by Kristen Sommer

Sometimes it only takes one story to change your outlook and perspective in life.

I encountered one such story today, the short tale of Ugly the cat. Though brief, this story had me sobbing in under two minutes. You can read about Ugly the cat here (

After reading this very short story of a real cat, many realizations assaulted me at once.

Yes, admittedly I am a cat lover, so hearing this happen to any cat crushed me. Much like the E-Harmony dating cat-girl, if I could hug every cat and take them all into my home I would (a frightening prospect, I know). But more than my broken heart for cats, I experienced something completely different that knocked me off of my feet for the rest of the day.

How many times in life have we abused something or someone just because he/she/it was not like us - looked different or acted against the ‘norm?’

Bullying is a large issue these days. In my past, I looked like Ugly on my inside - beaten up, abused and scarred. Words were the rocks thrown at me, and disdain was the water hose flushing me. As a child, I still had a lot of love within me and tried to share it with everyone, even the people who continued to beat me. I remain the same to this day.

How many others have gone through something akin to this? How many others have more horrifying stories? I know that there are many, yet they live on, no matter how many times they are ‘cut open’ and left bleeding their heart out.

Reading this story made me realize that Ugly is not just a cat. Ugly is you, me and many others in the world. How often do we seek acceptance from peers and are turned away? How often do we treat the Uglys of the world in such a callous, heartless and uncaring way?

From this story, I have seen myself as a victim, but more than that, I have seen myself as an attacker as well. To recognize that was more than a shock, yet I too am guilty of this.

Through reading about Ugly, I realized that I needed to watch and observe myself more closely, to follow the path of working together more harmoniously. It only takes one second of not focusing to go to an age old habit of casting stones and judging others simply because ‘they are not like me.’

Ugly taught me to pay attention more closely to my actions and words, so that I don’t become an abuser or a victim. Ugly taught me to just love.

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