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November 6, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

The Lions Amongst Us

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Today's song is Mercy, Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye, release in 1971.

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to go to the San Diego Wild Animal Park with Sherry and DJ. We walked around the usual exhibits and rode on the new shortened tram ride. Then we decide to check out the Lion Camp.

The Lion Camp allows visitors to observe lions in an open environment, up-close. In our case, we were able to observe a large adult male, adult female, and two cubs all together from about 30 feet away. Sometimes they played and pawed at each other, sometimes, they lay down as a group, sometimes the two cubs just chased each other around. Where they live, they can oversee large tracts of the Wild Animal Park, perhaps as they would survey their range in Africa itself. They must feel somewhat strange living their lives in captivity with their natural instinct curtailed.

I couldn't help but wonder if sometimes some of us are constrained by our surroundings. For most of human history, we lived in the wild alongside other animals. Then we developed larger societies and formed laws and structures of governments in attempt to manage our mutual existence together.

We humans have spread our range all over the Earth, and beyond in nearby outer space. We have gained and we have lost in the process. We are and have been for many decades, impacting our world to a larger degree than ever. We are becoming more crowded, consuming non-replaceable resources at an ever increasing rate. Other social ramifications and complications impact all of us that strive to live together on the 25% of land that makes up our world.

Like the lions and other creatures at the Wild Animal Park whose lifestyles are somewhat regulated, many people stay close and protective of their families, revolving around mostly regular routines. Days and nights often run together quickly in modern life.

Whether on a hill overlooking an open prairie or atop the tallest skyscraper looking out across the landscape, we peer outward and appreciate what we have now. Yet, we are also like the lions, peering inward with our own instincts, waiting for our destiny to reveal itself according to our natural paths.


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