Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher, opined that we are all but selfish creatures who, without a social contract, would live by the law of tooth and nail, motivated by self-interest. Social contracts are our agreement to concede the unencumbered freedom of a life without laws for the security afforded in communal living arrangements, where members trade rights and responsibilities.
Some days, I am inclined to believe in this absolutist, i.e. irrational, mean, survivalist description of true human nature. Some days, I struggle with the social contract and whether it really is adequate to hold the negatives at bay.
I recognize the over-simplification and tremendous injustice I serve to Mr. Hobbes, but on these days, I am searching, and it seems good enough to pick that particular philosophical precept as any other. I think any other political philosophy would serve me just as well, Hobbes’ being in some form or fashion a fundamental enough precept that others flow from it.
On these days, I go so far as to wonder if I have served the social contract in my own small world well, or whether I prove out Hobbes’ theory of absolutist human nature.
The truth of the matter is that, for all the pats on the back, all the accolades, all the attention that we receive for offering our place to others who don’t fit in elsewhere or who just need a place to belong, be safe, be happy, and be healed, I need them. This is probably not a tremendous revelation to anyone outside of me; it is, however, a truism.
I have bad days. I have days when the world just doesn’t seem to want to act right. I have days when I feel like I can’t do enough, can’t be good enough, can’t – for all the screaming and yelling and fit-throwing (metaphorical, of course) – make the world right, Just or fair.
Here at MisFit Farm, that all doesn’t matter. When I walk in the door, there are five, six or sometimes seven enthusiastic faces to greet me. There are hugs, and kisses, and tail wags so emphatic, they bleed. There are reminders that there are things I can fix, and things I cannot, but I am still loved regardless. I cannot get away with curling up in a little ball and wishing it all away, because there are wet noses that push into my dark spaces, and paws that pull my hands out from over my eyes, and trip-trapping hooves dancing back and forth on a bridge too sunshiny and too happy for any trolls to inhabit.
And even on days when I accomplish nothing or I rage in futility against the machine, the only score that is kept is whether enough pats were dispensed, enough kisses were distributed, enough time was spent in the sunshine, enough stars were counted, enough snuggles were shared, and enough love was absorbed, to get up and face the world again.