I live in a state where we have a plethora of venomous snakes. Plus our share of poisonous spiders.
Don’t forget the alligators which are often overlooked because of their ability to remain still.
Our environment appears to encourage these fellows.
After we’d lived here a few years, we took our kids and nephew to Gatorland, a Florida phenomenon that can make some very queasy.
I lost count of the number of poisonous snakes that call our state home. Glass cage after glass cage of slithery, stealthy killers. With at least the potential to make you really sick.
The sight that took my breath away was a huge cement slab filled with alligators. Many were missing feet, tips of tails, had long slash marks on their sides. Knowing that our state does everything they can to save manatees, I asked one of the workers if they were helping rehabilitate hurt alligators.
The man peered at me as if I had lost a few marbles. “Heck, no, lady. When these guys get their dinner, they don’t care what’s near their mouths. They chomp down on anything that could be food.”
There is no gator rescue.
We’ve had water moccasins in our back yard, and I’ve learned to watch for them because they’re aggressive. Because our pond backs into a conservation area, when the water is lower during dry periods, they freely cross the pond.
We’ve had to make a run for the house as we’ve seen them slither through the water. It’s hard to miss them. I’m not going to be the one who pushes the boundaries of sanity by seeing what they’ll do once they reach land. They’re just as quick on solid ground.
The concern is there, but I don’t live in fear of snakes and alligators. I stay away from areas that might hide some of these creatures, but it doesn’t affect my daily life. We have a Wetlands Conservation area not too far from us where we can see alligators in their natural habitat.
We keep our distance. So it amazed and amused me as we stopped at a rest area, a place to stretch your legs, use the facilities, and for the innumerable people who travel with dogs, to let them do their business, to see a sign: “Warning: Beware of venomous snakes”.
Having these snakes in the area should make me more aware, but I confess I get calloused. You go for periods of time without being bothered, and the problem appears to dissipate.
But it doesn’t.
Too often we go through life so aware of the hurt, pain, and injustice to others that we become calloused to it. Rather than being sensitive and mindful, we choose to ignore what seems superfluous.
A quote often attributed to the philosopher Edmund Burke states: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Jesus reminded us we need to treat others as we’d like to be treated. He stated, “Do to others whatever you wold like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
Being cared for is what we all desire.
We will always have snakes.
We don’t have to be them.
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