Cecil the lion from Zimbabwe is dead. The story has captured the outraged pulse of the internet. The dentist, Walter Palmer from Minnesota, killed Cecil under dubious circumstances to add a stuffed carcass to his trophy room. Americans are outraged. And so am I.
- Palmer had to shut down his dental practice because of the public outcry.
- People are picketing in front of his home.
- There are reports he has gone into hiding for his own safety and to escape possible extradition to Zimbabwe.
- The internet is sweltering in the volcanic fury of red hot indignation.
- Animal rights groups are whipped into a wild-eyed frenzy.
- Speculation is circulating on how much agony Cecil suffered before collapsing and drawing his final breath.
Am I upset? Yes. Do I think the dentist should face criminal proceedings? Yes, if he broke the law. Do I wish the black-maned lion still roamed the plains with his pride and cubs? Yes.
But just a minute. Cecil was beautiful and famous and majestic but he was a lion. A lion.
Among the many articles appearing about Cecil, one captured my attention. It pointed out some Zimbabweans are confused about the hot wrath coming out of the United States. Why? Because their country has many important issues and American remain silent on those issues.
In the article some Zimbabweans were referenced as wondering why Americans are not concerned and outraged by the lack of clean water or the crumbling economy which is sending poor people further into poverty abyss. One resident of Harare, Zimbabwe noted most people in his city were too busy trying to survive to care about the death of a lion.
Where is the sympathetic outrage from America over the thousands of people in Zimbabwe who have no water or jobs? When did you last see an outcry on social media about the suffering people of this African country?
I’ve found myself wondering this week about misplaced priorities. One of the most pressing challenges we each face is to focus on the most important issues. What matters most ought to matter most. And it is those critical issues we ought to focus on.
As I get older I’m discovering it is even more important to make sure I’m focusing my time and energies on the important things. Time is slipping away and in these last chapters of my life I do not want to live like Don Quixote and tilt at windmills.
Each of us must examine our lives and make sure our priorities are properly aligned.
What would happen if we could somehow harness the wrath over Cecil’s death and help solve the water problem of Zimbabwe? Let’s call it Cecil’s Watering Hole Project and pool our money together to dig wells in Zimbabwe. Let’s channel our anger and energy into an area which will make a positive change.
Imagine what might happen if we could use our energy and resources to focus on the critical issues we face as Americans and as individuals?
And instead of showering the internet with little cheesy cartoons and quotes designed to make the “other” political party look stupid why not band together to make a difference in our world?
Think of your life. Are you focusing on what REALLY matters? Or are you spending your life posting your preferences on Facebook and hitting the “like” button. News flash: hitting the like button does not change anything in our world.
Decide what is important.
Do something to make a difference.
What do you think?