My son pleaded with me for months to get a rabbit. I knew that he wanted a pet that he could cuddle and who would love him. After a lot of research and time on my part, I got him two rabbits, as I’d been told they need company. Two months later the rabbits have come to trust me because i feed and care for them. My son has been less than enthusiastic. Yesterday we had to move them and the squeamish one scratched my son badly, as he hadn’t learned how to earn her trust. As i think about an alternative strategy to threats to return them and/or nagging him to become more involved in their care, I reflect on what his basic motivation is, and that is to have an animal to care for and who in turn cares for him. So I turn my teaching to the circular flow in life of giving and receiving. I reflect on how some seem arrested at acquiring and taking versus caring and giving. I want to teach him to be a carer. Having a rabbit is one way to do this. At the same time I am teaching him what it is to do a mitzvah. In the Jewish tradition this means a caring act which is a blessing to not only the receiver, but to the giver as well. The endless flow of giving and receiving which is the essence of life.
Caring or Taking?