Kittie Howard

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Goodness of the Hippo and the Tortoise

Note:  Pings are silent signals submarines use to notify each other they are nearby.  The Internet uses the same technology for blogs.  A ping tells Followers you are nearby, ie, have posted.  Your post shows up on the Follower's blogroll.  Pings also tell others in wider Blogville that you exist.  This helps other bloggers find you.  If you click on one of your interests, you will find profiles of others who have the same interest.  Without pings, your profile slips further and further, into the 10,000 or so who may have the same interest.  You can sign up for pings at:  It's free.  Every time you post or have increased blog activity, you should ping.  So, bookmark the site.)

I think a donation wins out over a gift card.  I am very happy with this! However, I'm not sure if you want my donation to go to an Animal Shelter or a Soup Kitchen shelter that serves the unemployed and/or homeless.  I take your comments seriously and will be most happy to donate to either.  I'm staying tuned because I want my little Spring Celebration to spread sunshine!
Your comments (and e-mail requests) also stir the Louisiana stories.  And there's a whole mess of stories!  (A mess is Southern for that amount which satisfies a designated number of people.  How many ears of corn to shuck?  Until there's a mess to feed four hungry people.) 

Several Louisiana stories percolate now.  How one particular story bubbles to the top, I honestly don't know.  Except that your comments give me a sensing of what you'd like to hear:  Hard scrapple, whimsical, amusing or a bit of fun.

Because life can get quite serious. Teresa Evangeline ( and I enjoyed an e-mail exchange that focused on how excessive negativity overwhelmed the spirit. At least, our Soul Sister spirits. Many people thrive on negativity, can't get enough of what's wrong, pounce on the slightest mishap with undisguised glee. 

I make every effort to avoid these people.  Even if I'd agree with what they'd say.  I just can't take all that negative energy.  Life's too short, the sun's too bright, to get bogged down in mumbo-jumbo.

Good and bad exist as polar opposites, life's yin and yang, if you will.  Can't have one without the other.  So, this morning, while reading this weekend's Parade magazine, a comment from David Gergen, the Harvard professor and CNN political analyst, caught my attention:  "As my favorite preacher, Peter Gomes, says about how one should handle adversity in life, 'Get used to it, get over it, and get on with it.'"

And, unfortunately, when it comes to earthquakes, the world's definitely getting 'used to it'.  The horrific quakes in Haiti and Chile were heart-wrenching.  The ensuing slew of smaller quakes and aftershocks, from Illinois to Japan to Hawaii and back to Chile and Haiti, elicited shivers of fear.  Nothing prevents an earthquake.  Nothing stops an earthquake.  Nothing stops a tsunami, its first cousin.

But nothing also stops the human spirit, even when an earthquake rains death and misery.  The entire world witnessed how the Haitians, who already possessed few material goods, coped with even less, many with nothing.  But a previously ignored people never lost faith in God, themselves, and in humanity's goodness.  And, though a more affluent country, the Chileans also suffered terribly, but maintained their indominable faith and perservered.  Both countries accepted what had happened and got on with it.  Survival.

But millions of people around the world contributed to this survival, either through financial donations, personalized relief efforts or both.  This generosity sparked hope that goodness trumped negativity.  Survival.

Like others with practical experience, a nurse with 20 years experience also contributed to this goodness.  I'd like to thank and applaud Enigma4Ever, a Follower, at for all that this warm, giving person contributed during these disasters.  Her blog remains a shining example of how a knowledgable person can spring into action for the common good. 

Enigma posted emergency telephone numbers, tirelessly coordinated detailed information, and consistently pointed volunteers in the right direction on not one blog, but a series of blogs (also on Twitter) that kept people informed in a calm, professional manner.

I hope Enigma's gotten rest.  But I doubt it.  This is one dynamite gal whose passion for life goes beyond self.  Thank you, Enigma! 

And I need to recognize and apologize to Sandi at and Cheryl K at for not including their names on my Spring Celebration list for the Over the Top award.  I didn't realize the paper with their names (and a smaller paper I still can't find) had been scattered by a spring breeze.  Sandi's on crutches at the moment but is positive about tossing the sticks soon.  Cheryl and her hub are housesitting -- which includes minding four young kids -- but, like Sandi, accomplishes all with grace. Please accept what I hope is a happy award.  And please pass it on to five people.  I'm sick of Cotton Mather's shadow.  It's time to spread some smiles. 

For those of you outside the United States, Cotton Mather was a Puritanical leader/preacher during the early 1600s who thought being normal was sinful.  However, not long ago scholars found correspondence that said Cotton Mather enjoyed a glass of wine and liked to laugh (horrors!)

Now, about the photo at the bottom, photographer unknown (as far as I can tell).

After the tsunami hit parts of Asia some years ago, a smaller tsunami hit Kenya.  This baby hippo washed ashore near Mombassa, Kenya.  Volunteers placed the hippo in an animal shelter, where the baby bonded with the 100-year-old tortise.  The unlikely pair established a nurturing relationship that amazed everyone.  For these two aren't known for being pals within the animal kingdom. 

And, as the hippo grew older and bigger he still remained near the tortoise, very caring and respectful, when the hippo could easily have squashed the tortoise.  (Eventually, though, the hippo had to move on in life and do what hippos do.)

But people can do the same.  Get along.  Work together.  Be pals.

If only we'd get on with it.

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