The First Stone

Hello folks. Here I am once again, this time to write a few words about this whole Michael Vick thing. Now, before I get started, I just want to make one fact well known for those of you who don’t already know this about me. I don’t like dogs. I don’t like them at all. They are needy, aggravating creatures who are way too excitable, always making shite loads of noise, and always want to be up in your face, and your business, constantly as if they don’t consider themselves unique entities. It’s not that I don’t recognize them for the loving, loyal, fluffy, fun loving creatures they can be, okay? It’s just I believe their annoying qualities far outweigh everything else.

That being said – the thought of raising dogs to fight and kill each is just absolutely disgusting. Then place that on top of killing dogs that don’t fight well enough…it’s just mind boggling the complete disconnect of empathy you would have to have to do such things. Of course, people kill other people all the time with such complete disconnects, so on the other hand it really isn’t all that surprising.

I don’t understand the thrill that some people get out of lording over other people and creatures that are weaker than them, or even dependant on them. I don’t understand the thrill that people get out of hunting animals either, although I fully support killing animals for purpose of creating food and other goods. I think God gave us dominion over animals for that exact purpose. But hunting and killing animals for sport – for your own pleasure – I don’t get it. That, and this whole dog fighting thing, are, in my mind, equally without merit or sense.

It’s unfortunate that so many people in the world lack even basic empathy. There have been many sport hunters in my family. My brother is one of them. What is the difference in hunting, say, a deer for sport and killing a dog? I don’t give a shite if one is against the law and the other isn’t. What is the difference in regards to the humanity — the compassion and empathy disconnect that must exist to do such things? What is the difference? Someone please explain it to me.

Rationalize it all you want, but there is no difference. Why, then, is the country so up in arms over this? Why do we, meaning humanity, view one set of atrocities as “ok” and others as “disgusting”? There are so many people writing articles like this about Vick never deserving to play football again that it sickens me.

Again, we have a serious lack of compassion and empathy in the world. Not to mention a monumental lack of “common” sense. It’s not just about how some people view animals – it also applies to how we view each other. We are so quick to demonize people who do things we consider horrible without even taking the briefest moments to try and empathize with them, or even examine our own selves and explore why we feel we have the right to denounce their behavior. My brother, for instance, is an amazing human being. His love and loyalty know no bounds, and what an excellent father he is to my nephew. The point is: we all do and say disgusting things, but does that necessarily make someone deserving of the mountain of shite that has been heaped on Vick? Before you start telling yourself, “Yeah, but I don’t kill…” just stop. Just stop.

Jesus told the masses that if there was one of them there without sin, then they could cast the first stone. Maybe the point is cliché now, but, again, you can rationalize your position all you want but the cliché is still valid. It doesn’t matter if you don’t kill dogs. You are not perfect. You don’t deserve to condemn Vick. You don’t deserve to demand that Vick never gets to play football again. If the man pays his debt to society, and his contrition seems true (as in, we don’t find out about him committing similar acts in the future), then he deserves forgiveness. He deserves a second chance. Don’t we all?

I can relate to being disgusted with what Vick has done, and this dog fighting enterprise that he supported and obviously enjoyed. It sickens me too. But Michael Vick is a human being, and so am I. I long to be forgiven and to forgive myself for some of the things I’ve done and said in my life. Maybe Vick doesn’t truly long for such things, but I don’t know that. Neither do you. Right now, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. He deserves the opportunity to earn forgiveness. If he sets his life straight, then he deserves the chance to play in the NFL again. And those who continue to campaign against Vick, even in light of this difficult journey for forgiveness that he seems to be on now, are far worse human beings than he could ever be in my book.

If there’s something a person lacking compassion and empathy needs, it is compassion and empathy! Why people think viewing Vick as he viewed those dogs makes anything better is beyond me. Sometimes I feel like humanity is a lost cause. Too many people just don’t learn, they don’t get it, and are too busy being angry, hateful, and full of spite. Are you a better person than Michael Vick? Really, you are? Then give him a piece of your heart, and piece of your soul, instead of piece of your mind, and BE a better person.
That’s all I have to say on this….

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“…Then the time came for you to be your own [person], and take on the world and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard you started looking for something to blame — like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”

–Sylverser Stallone, speaking as Rocky Balboa, to his son, in the 2007 movie of the same name. Totally worth your time to watch this movie for this scene alone.

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