CPSP in the NEWS: A Lesson From Animals About Being Humane By William Alberts, PhD

23 Sep 2015 6:57 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)


William Alberts, Phd published an article in CounterPunch.ORG: A Lesson From Animals About Being Humane: 

Boots, a Katrina Hurricane survivor, is an almost 13-year-old male Golden Retriever-Chow mix, who socializes 5 to 8 weeks-old motherless kittens at the Arizona Humane Society. Boots’ canineness invites the kittens to rub noses with him, snuggle up to him, and lay beside– and even on top of– him. His inborn, tail-wagging friendliness helps the kittens to overcome their fear and guardedness that comes from abandonment and isolation. (See “Boots, a Hurricane Katrina Survivor, Gives Back as a Kitten Nanny,” By Heather Marcoux, Dogster, Aug. 26, 2015)

These animals have a lot to show us human beings about being humane. Boots does not teach the kittens how to be cats; they already know that! And their adoption of him as their nanny does not make him any less a male dog; he already knows that. It is not about one being required to become like the other to reinforce the other’s rightness, dominance and security.   It is about the other’s emotional security that enables one to be—and to become—all that the one is. The greatly needed lesson for us human beings: Boots does not teach the kittens how to bark, but to regain their inborn naturalness to purr. Caring is about honoring and protecting other people’s right to be who they are, rather than requiring them to be like us. It is about The Golden Rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew7: 12, NIV)


Dr. Alberts applies the reality about the accepting nature of a a beloved dog to the issue of same sex marriage. I agree with him on both counts. For sure, our animals have a lot to teach us, especially about grace. Listen and watch our animals.  We might become more humane, especially in the face of differences. 

William Alberts, a CPSP Diplomate, really seems to know his biblical scripture. 

Read the Article

Perry Miller, Editor

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Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D., a former hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center, is both a Unitarian Universalist and United Methodist minister. His new book, The Counterpunching Minister (who couldn’t be “preyed” away) is now published and available on Amazon.com. The book’s Foreword, Drawing the Line, is written by Counterpunch editor, Jeffrey St. Clair. Alberts is also author of A Hospital Chaplain at the Crossroads of Humanity, which “demonstrates what top-notch pastoral care looks like, feels like, maybe even smells like,” states the review in the Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling. His e-mail address is wm.alberts@gmail.com.