Giraffes live an admirably simple life in the UK. They’re all in lock down! This one was photographed at Paignton Zoo, mid-snack, using my first digital camera. (It was a Minolta with limited specifications, but still took some nice photos.) I have spent years wondering what her expression signifies. Is she content, or wishing she had some mayonnaise to make supper more palatable? You decide.
Their eyes are lovely. Their hide patterns are wonderfully varied. Giraffes must also be one of the weirdest creatures we could imagine. Do they ever get a sore throat? How long is it sore?
Many of us are still in lock down. Our lives are simpler, because we are constrained by our circumstances and our social responsibilities. “Stay home, stay safe” was a clear and simple slogan. Whilst the scientists look for cures and a vaccine, we have to work out how we move from lock down to some new reality. Risks cannot be avoided- there is no way we can all guarantee safety for ourselves and those we love. Health risks have to be balanced with the need to get society working again to safeguard jobs and services.
We probably can’t go back to “life exactly as it was” because this pandemic has shown us society is in peril: a tiny virus has brought the world to a shuddering halt. Another virus could emerge in a similar way. Our over-extended industries and travel mania have been causing terrible pollution and climate change. Two months of lock down have made a major reversal of those dangers.
Can we make a virtue out of the crisis? Can we, individually, choose to adopt a simpler lifestyle? Will we put pressure on the powers-that-be to make social changes permanent so we support our planet instead of torturing it?
A Giraffe’s Prayer: we might like to make it our own.
Lord God, you made us able to see a long way ahead. You gave us trees to eat, and water to drink, and great legs to run. Thank You for Your gifts. It is a wonderful life.
God of Mercy, will you show us and these humans how to live simply and kindly, respecting each other and our world, and sharing our resources so no-one is in need.
Lord of compassion, help us all- every living thing- to seek ways of peace and generosity. Give us wisdom to value the right things, and love all Your creatures in peace.
Lord God, bring justice to this unjust world. Help us make society fairer, and recognise the worth of all living beings.
Lord, help us to choose simplicity and righteousness over greed and injustice. Help us not to look down on anybody unless we are trying to help them up.