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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


There has been a lot to ponder in the news lately. Sometimes hard to read or watch. Airplane debris floating to shore, young teenage boys in Florida missing at sea, a Presidential debate, forest fires raging, wild horses being rounded up, and a lion named Cecil. No wonder we’ve all been a little cranky lately. Sometimes it is simply too much to absorb!

One thing seems certain, humanity continues to show its force in all manner of tragic situations. It reminds me of a time when my grandson, Kevin, as a teenager, rescued a puppy that had fallen into a deep canal. Forming a human chain, four boys laid down so Kevin could be lowered over the side to grab the pup. Shocked and frightened, I told him this was too dangerous! He could have fallen in and died! His response? “Sometimes you just have to help. It was the right thing to do.”

And so it goes. The human factor that plays out in a million ways in even more places, showing us that good people stretch, reach, and lift up the fallen every single day. Some folks have lashed out at others who have expressed disgust or sadness about Cecil being illegally killed in Africa, saying they should “care more about people.” Hey, hold on a minute…the true nature of our humanity is that it is big enough to encompass it all – the smallest sparrow, the largest beast, the sick, poor, displaced, and hungry. We are a “full service,” compassionate human race and we have the largess to care about all lives.

What is really inspiring is that all over the world, at any given time, there are people doing their part to make a difference. We donate our blankets, clothes, and shoes to the Goodwill so that every child can be clothed and warm. Meals on Wheels never stops due to rain, monsoons, or heat to deliver meals to the homebound. Right now, people are out there rescuing stray dogs, spending time with the lonely, helping communities rebuild after disasters, sending food to the hungry, and medicines to the sick. We never take a break from helping and should never berate someone for caring about a living thing – because we all do our part.

I have physician friends who go to poor countries with Doctors Without Borders to perform much-needed surgeries for patients who are in desperate situations. Hope 4 Kids digs water wells for communities in Uganda, where it can change the course of life for an entire village. I have a friend who rescues cats and another who is a foster mom. It is all important and it all matters!

Cecil was a lion who was lured out of a preserve with a dead animal being strapped to the top of a Land Rover. So the outcry was not against hunters. We just want to play fair. As we learn more about wildlife, we might be shocked to know that 100,000 elephants have been killed by poachers in the past five years in Africa for their tusks. We do not need Ivory – only an elephant does! So yes, good people stand up and question these incidents and practices, but let’s not assume that means a human life is less valuable.

My grandson, Kevin, is now in the Navy stationed in Coronado. He is training to go on helicopter missions to be lowered down on a rope to help “downed” servicemen who need to be rescued at sea.  I told him I didn’t want him to be on any rope! It is too dangerous! He just laughed and said, “But it’s what we do. It may save a life.”

Yes, it may. So we speak for those who cannot speak, carry the weak, fix the broken, search for the lost, lift up the needy, hug the lonely, and grab the puppy. We can still find joy when we see firemen reach down into a sewer grate to rescue the smallest duckling that fell in and hand it back to its mother duck. We cheer for the diver who freed the whale entangled in fishing lines. We pray for the pilots to find two boys adrift at sea. We will rally around the down-trodden, give our time, money, and strength to those in the midst of crises. Because the human chain of compassion is the best we may ever be. It represents our finest moments. It is what we do. Dear Readers, may your week be filled with compassion.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at