Literally, for over two years now, this lion has been going through foo after foo after foo. It never ends. If I receive any small joy whatsoever, it is immediately cancelled out by some sort of foo happening to kill and take away that momentary joy. This just happened to me most recently on Friday, the 24th of June. Am I paying for being a bad lion in a previous life? Sure don’t know, but sure seems like it.
Well, anyway, to restate the obvious if you know me, I am a 59 year old “old farty lion”, a greymuzzle in the furry vernacular description. So, yes, I am pretty much old school in many ways. I fully admit that I am not naïve to the way the world is, but I keep hoping for better and keep getting so sorely disappointed, both in general and in my own fursonal life. The old saying of our, society, country, world “going to hell in a hand-basket” seems truer than it ever was to me. We now live in a society, that “we” created over my lifetime, say from about the 1960’s on, that has most (not yet all thank goodness) that thinks only of themselves. Yes, “me first” has been there since time began, I do know that. But, it has reached a nadir and zenith of Mount Everest sized proportions. Here’s a rundown on different principles I see lacking if not completely absent in so many…
Honor and integrity, one’s good name:
One should care and “give a damn” about what they do and say and what others say about them. If you cannot be trusted on and relied upon you’re a poor furson indeed. As what just happened to me a few weeks ago, I was a victim of a scandalous lie upon my character. I was in no way what I was thought to be and I “fought back” and did so hard. Some said that I shouldn’t let it get to me so, that they knew it wasn’t true and I knew that it wasn’t, so, in effect, don’t stress so over it. I just could not do that and would not do that ever. That was my good name beaten and sullied and I was not just going to take it. Through my persistence, I got it finally resolved and got my good name back, but I never got an apology from the person who wronged me, even though I now had written and absolute proof that what had been thought was a lie. That ties into another thing I need to comment on next.
Taking responsibility for what you do and say, good bad or indifferent:
Again this lion is not naïve and knows very well the old axiom of “talk is cheap”. Have the honor and integrity to stand up for things, what you believe in, or, as well, for or against someone or something that you think is wrong. But, ALSO have the honor and integrity to admit when you do find out or are proven that you are wrong. Do not underestimate the power of the words “I’m sorry”, they can so make a difference and cause a bitter or even hateful heart to possibly begin to heal. Now, depending on the situation, the words may be pitifully inadequate. In an exaggerated example, if you go and murder someone, a million “I’m sorry’s” ain’t gonn’a get you out of that one in actual fact. That involves repentance, but I won’t “go there” here. But for most cases, if you either find yourself wrong or proven wrong, “be a man” and admit it and AT THE VERY LEAST say I’m sorry. Most folks seem to have lost this in both the concept of it and of the actual practice of it in today’s society. I will say though, just touching upon the subject of repentance, that, at least for me, if you’ll at least take that small “step”, that does mean a lot and that can start to build a bridge of forgiveness for even quite agregious wrongs.
This equally applies to how you live your life. Your actions have and create consequences! If you don’t think that or believe that I honestly pity you as much as I also truly fear you. Yes, WE all make our share of good decisions and bad decisions, of course. None but the Higher Power above is perfect. Or, we make a decision that we thought was a good one at the time, but it ends up souring into something bad instead. If that’s the case, have the honor and integrity to say and admit it and take the consequences. Don’t either ignore it as if it never happened or deny that you didn’t do it or say it or whatever. To use the modern vernacular again, we all have our “baggage”. Admit to whatever your baggage may be. You might even be surprised that someone else may have similar baggage and could give you some love and compassion to you for having “been there and done that” themselves.
Take life, commitments and people seriously; promises made, promises kept:
Once again, one more axiom, “my word is my bond”. Yes, sometimes, things do happen that either prevent or thwart a promise made from being kept or fulfilled. But in this white lion’s opinion, those cases are and should be rare. Treat any promise made as respectfully as you would any business contractual agreement. A contract is, in essence, just that a promise made, in writing in that case, that says I will do this or I will do that. Breaking a written business contract is not a good thing, neither is the breaking of a verbal one as well, a promise you made to someone.
Promises nowadays are the seeming dime a dozen. Said with a caviler attitude that treats it as nothing, small talk that makes it into a veritable euphemism of itself and not what it rightfully should be. How many times I have been let down in this, by co-workers, furiends and even quasi-“adopted” family members. Yes, I have to deal with it an then react to it as best as I can, there’s no choice there really, but it so hurts. This white lion does see each and every one as a betrayal of my trust, and even more sadly, sometimes love in those I have relationships with. In my story I’m writing, my white lion character and alter-ego, Davey, always says when he makes a promise that it’s a “white lion promise”, meaning that you can count on its being kept and fulfilled. How I wish I would see that ethic in more of the folks I know and deal with.
A thing that I see as a common occurrence in the furry fandom that greatly saddens and annoys me is the way the concept and the word “mate” and “mating” is taken so casually and lightly. Bluntly, that is not the way this white lion sees things. Again, to state this so you don’t think I’m some kind of an insane fanatic on this or any other issue here I’m talking about, yes, I do know that relationships can and do fail. In true marriages, that is what divorce is for. I, myself, am a cub, an only cub by the way, of divorced parents. And, although my life was no picnic from having that divorce happen, I know that had my parents stayed together it would have been a living Hell for all of us. So I do know what I’m speaking on here.
But I’m sorry, as I see it, the word mate, in the furry fandom is a joke. A mate lasts as long as long as it suits or pleases the individual. I see and hear of monthly, even weekly, mate changes. Sorry folks, in lion’s eyes that’s “expletive deleted”! Yes, in almost all of the United States save for a few, gay marriage is not allowed. Lion knows this. But a commitment of love and devotion IS A COMMITMENT no matter what, with or without a governmental piece of paper putting it in writing.
This lion has made his own commitment of love and mating back on Thanksgiving of 2009. This is a lifetime commitment I made, KNOWINGLY made. And, only my death shall break it. Even then, it will only break it as far as this life goes. I shall wait “on the other side” for my mate to join me when that time finally comes.
Truly, to any and all who read this, do you or does “anyone” know the meaning of the word love anymore? And, additionally, do you or they give it the true honor and respect it deserves? YIFF IS FINE, BUT IT IS NOT LOVE AND NOT BY A LONG SHOT! For every mate “cast aside”, another heart is broken; shame, shame.
And finally, appreciation and thankfulness:
Are you a user? Do you simply take and take and take and very seldom if ever give? If a kindness is done to you directly or for you, for your benefit, do you both appreciate it and say the “magic words” of thank you? This lion does! And, let me assure you that involves many times of saying it by me, for my entire life. But sadly lately, because of my fooey circumstances I’m in, it’s seemingly all of the time that I keep needing help and then thanking those kind souls that provide it to me. No lie, my furry white ass has been saved many times by several over these past couple of years that this seemingly constant foo has been occurring. Honestly, I could very well not be here writing this journal today if it weren’t for them. I have thanked them over and over again already and will continue to do so forever more. The old saying of “you saved my life” is ABSOLUTELY true this this lion’s case, I fully admit it.
But sadly, I do not see that same level of thankfulness in others I know and this so saddens me. This is not just a fursonal opinion of only my mind I assure you, actions and attitudes are most definitely seen and duly noted by all, seen by both the involved and also the not-so-involved as well. Bridges do get burned my furiends, do not fool or kid yourself, “as you reap, so shall you sow”. Truer words were never spoken. And so, we’ve now gone full circle then to where I began, honor, integrity and good name.
Having said his piece, the white lion gets off his “soapbox” and departs. “Semper Furry”.