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Animals Bring Out the True Altruists

Yesterday I was reading a copy of Woman’s World. They always have this “What’s Does X Say about Your Personality?” section. If you’ve never seen it, basically they pose a question and give you five or six options to chose from.

For instance, sometimes it’s what does your handwriting say about you? Then you pick which style most closely matches yours. Or which color do you prefer? Again, you pick and read what it says.

If You Give Holiday Gifts to Animals…

This last one was “What does your holiday gift giving style say about you?” One of the selections was “If you give to animals…”

That one caught my eye because I not only give to my animals, but I make sure to get gifts for all their buddies too. (Well, really Murphy’s pals. The cats don’t really have any fur friends.)

Anyway, it went on to say that if you give to animals you have a giving heart and are a true altruist. Their reasoning was that most people give gifts with the expectation they’ll be getting a gift in return.

But when you give gifts to animals, you’re well aware they’re not only able to not say thank you but neither are they going to give you a gift back. (Which I disagree with. My animals both say thank you and give me the gift of a happy heart when I buy them something I suspected they might adore and they prove me right by playing happily with it.)

Okay, so it was a neat way to look at myself, but then this morning I heard a story on one of the local radio stations that showed me what a true altruist really is.

The Girl with Asperger’s

I never listen to the radio at home. I really only listen in my car.

But for some reason this morning I decided to turn on Mix 92.9. With my breakfast cooking on the stove, I had the weirdest urge I needed to listen while I played with Mr. Meow and Tabby.

That’s how it was I came to hear of a neat experiment the radio station was doing. They wanted to know how much good kids could make $20 do. So they picked some kids, gave them $20, and waited to see what the kids would come up with.

Today they featured a story about a girl with asperger’s who was one of the $20 recipients.

Talking to people is painful for her, but she loves animals. She knew right away what she wanted to do with her $20. She used it to buy food and treats for shelter animals, got some blankets, then she took it all to her local shelter.

The shelter was so grateful they called in to give her an on-air thank you. They were also so impressed that this young woman who has a disability isn’t letting it stop her –it’s helping inspire her to do for others who can’t even properly say thank you.

When I heard that, I instantly thought of the Woman’s World article. And it makes me not want to think of her as the girl with asperger’s, but rather the girl who let the animals bring out the altruist in her.

Courtney Mroch writes about animals great and small in Pets and the harmony and strife that encompasses married life in Marriage. For a full listing of her articles click here.

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