The Quotidian, July 20, 2010 ~ Evaluating a Society

“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (February 4, 1906 to April 9, 1945)

Should I stop there? This is powerful; however, I’m seeking something more comprehensive.

“A society may be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable [members, including animals].” – numerous variants, attributed to numerous prominent figures including Gandhi, Harry S Truman, Winston Churchill, Hupert H. Humphrey, et al.

When we consider the most vulnerable within a society, I believe we must include the young (especially the very young), the physically and mentally challenged, the ill, and the elderly.

I would argue that we must include animals.

Why would I include animals? Animals, both domesticated and wild, are heavily impacted by human activities.

Tonight, on my way home from the Bellingham Haiku Group’s meeting, I saw a fawn without its doe. The fawn may have been an orphan; it’s difficult to know. It was grazing in a field in an area which hasn’t been in-filled by development.

in a waxing moon lit field– /a fawn without its doe / trembles

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
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