On my morning of my birthday I was walking to work, listening to the Vinyl Cafe podcast, and it was so touching and heartwarming I almost cried.
Stuart McLean was handing out the annual Arthur Awards, which go to people who have made a difference. It doesn’t have to be a big profound thing they’ve done; it can be a small seemingly unimportant thing that affects only one other person.
Or, in this case, one little homeless paralyzed bunny.
It’s true. Andy Blau, a volunteer with the Toronto Humane Society, wanted to do something to make Blueberry the Bunny’s wretched little life better. Poor Blueberry had rear-leg paralysis. She just sat in her cage, and if she fell over she had to wait for someone to set her upright again. She loved attention and affection, but her world was very limited. Her prospects for adoption didn’t look so hot either, because there’s not much of a market for paralyzed bunnies.
So Andy built Blueberry a wheelchair. When she’s strapped into it, she can use her front legs to wheel herself around. Look.
Andy’s best friend – who nominated him for the Arthur Award – said: “There are lots of problems in this world, and chances are hardly anybody cares about one paralyzed rabbit in an animal shelter filled with needy animals. It’s a tiny problem in a big world.”
And here are some snippets of what Andy said when Stuart McLean phoned him and conducted an impromptu on-air interview:
Stuart: “Why did you do it?”
Andy: “… The world is a complicated, complicated place. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re doing something good or you’re doing something bad. But I am absolutely certain that in building this wheelchair, I made the world a tiny tiny tiny better place.”
Stuart: “Some people listening today would say that building a wheelchair for a rabbit is not the most important thing a guy could do and he should be helping other people who are in need.”
Andy: “I agree that building a wheelchair for a rabbit maybe isn’t the most important thing to do. I think it’s important just that people do something. I would be absolutely thrilled if everybody did a little something extra for their society. This is where I chose to do it.”
He’s so right. We look at the world’s problems and they’re overwhelming. We feel like there’s nothing we can do because we’re just one little person and the world has so many huge, seemingly insurmountable problems.
So today, in honour of Andy Blau’s heart-warming philosophy of life, I’m issuing the Blueberry Challenge to all of us, myself included. Let’s all try to find one tiny way to make the world a wee bit better this month. Then come back here and tell us about it in the comments. Or write about it on your own blog, and leave a link in the comments. It doesn’t have to be a big thing like building a wheelchair. It can be very, very small. Remember, we don’t have to FIX the world, we just have to find a way to make it a tiny bit better.
(If I read this on someone else’s blog, I think I’d be scared to go first, so I’m hoping one of you is brave enough to leave the first comment.)