In 2009, The New York Times, featured a collection of interviews, in each the subjects story was paired with photographs–all lovely vignettes of the individuals New York life–the Times called it, One IN 8 MILLION.
So many of the stories were just remarkable, “ordinary people people telling extraordinary stories,” but one in particular stayed with me. When it comes to children and animals I simply have zero tolerance for people who bring harm to either. What I love about this story however–is it sheds light on something we all need more of–the story of rescue.
And on days when the world seems plain mad, I reach for this beautiful woman’s story the way one might grab a sweater to wrap the warmth they have inside a little bit tighter to their heart, for hers is a brilliant reminder that good exists.
Interviewed by Alexis Mainland and Photographed by Todd Heisler, Stefanie Rinza describes her passion for the rescuing of animals. She has rescued and found homes for about 40 abandoned animals of all kinds, including her own four dogs and birds.
This morning, when I once again watched the pictures fade in and out on the screen and listened to Stefanie’s beautiful melodic voice describe how her first dogs came into her life, I reclaimed a slice of inner-peace. Clearly she is a woman who feels deeply for living creatures that have been abandoned. As it has in the past, the story pierced me again. Something about it begs me to play it more than once. Only the second time, I closed my eyes.
Her words funneled through me, then these rose to the surface to stay…
If I see something, I can’t let it go. If I see a bird with a broken wing flapping around and no one is making a grab for it…I then couldn’t live with myself having left someone like that.
What I love is when someone has been rescued and when they come here and they’ve had their first sleep and curl up. And after everything they’ve been through they’re willing to trust someone and give them their love and devotion.”
Living creatures deserve a chance at real love and Stefanie’s story can be applied to animals and people alike, all worthy of both giving and receiving love.
Imagine the ripple effect that would be created if we all approached the struggle of a living creature the way Stefanie Rinza does, as if there was nothing more valuable then one’s ability to trust and feel safe, I dare say it would be enormous.
It all begins with awareness. When we open our eyes and hearts to someone or something that needs our hand, needs our compassion, needs our help–and then we give it–our little corner of the world begins to heal.