Are We Naturally Compassionate? by Ed Boks

Compassion doesn’t have to be taught, but it can be unlearned.

I recently posted the pictures to the right on Facebook with a personal observation that “compassion doesn’t have to be taught; but it can be unlearned.”

It wasn’t long before I was challenged by a friend who countered that “actually, compassion is part of EQ and as such is a learned behavior.”

This prompted me to do a little research. Continue reading “Are We Naturally Compassionate? by Ed Boks”

5 Ways to Handle Criticism and Avoid Crisis

Joan Garry

In a recent blog, consultant Joan Garry, provides some sage advice to board and staff leaders of nonprofits.  In her blog, titled “How to Handle Criticism of Your Organization“, Joan opines on the state of our “strange new world”.  A world she feels is not particularly kind or generous.

She points out that the polarization and incivility we witness in our politics also abounds in the world of nonprofit organizations – where negativity can be found both inside the organization (a staff upset with a change in health benefits) and externally (community members feel voiceless in some kind of directional change.)  And of course we always have the local blogger or wannabe journalist with a big ol’ bone to pick.

Continue reading “5 Ways to Handle Criticism and Avoid Crisis”

Top 6 Ways a Board Can Help Its CEO

In a recent GuideStar Blog,  Bill Hoffman shared the following Top 6 Ways a Board Can Help Its CEO:

Board members have a lot of responsibility to the organization they represent, to the community for which they are stewards of the nonprofit’s resources, and also to the organization’s CEO. The CEO’s success is tied closely to the support he or she receives from the board. How can individual board members support their CEO’s success? Below are the six ways I’ve found that have the greatest impact.  Continue reading “Top 6 Ways a Board Can Help Its CEO”

Kapparot: 9th Circuit argument Tuesday

What is kapparot?

The 13th-century scholar Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham Aderet considered kapparot a “heathen superstition”.

Kapparot or kaparos, meaning “atonements,” is a custom in which a chicken or money may be used.  Kapparot using chickens is practiced by some Jews shortly before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

The ritual begins with selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms 107:10, 14, and 17-21, and Job 33:23-24 being recited.  Then a rooster (for a man) or a hen (for a woman) is held above the person’s head and swung in a circle three times, while the following is spoken: “This is my exchange, my substitute, my atonement; this rooster (or hen) shall go to its death, but I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace.” The chicken is then slaughtered and may or may not be given to the poor for food. Continue reading “Kapparot: 9th Circuit argument Tuesday”

How dogs identify friend and foe by Ed Boks

According to a study reported in the journal Current Biology, dogs pick up emotional cues from other dogs by watching the direction of their wagging tail.

In a series of lab experiments, dogs became anxious when they saw an image of a dog wagging its tail to its left side. But when they saw a dog wagging its tail to its right side, they remained relaxed.   Continue reading “How dogs identify friend and foe by Ed Boks”

Do Cats Need Us? by Ed Boks

It appears Rudyard Kipling may have been correct when he suggested cats walk by themselves and don’t need us to feel secure.

A study released by the University of Lincoln concluded that cats, unlike dogs, do not need humans to feel safe, preferring to look after themselves.

Earlier research had suggested cats show signs of separation anxiety when left alone by their owners, in the same way dogs do, but the results of this study found they are much more independent than canine companions – and what we had interpreted as separation anxiety might actually be signs of frustration. Continue reading “Do Cats Need Us? by Ed Boks”

Know when the human/dog bond can bite you in the face by Ed Boks

A study conducted jointly from Monash University in Australia and Pedigree Petfoods found that the bond between a human and a dog may actually cause their heartbeats to sync with one another.

The researchers connected three pairs of dogs and their owners to heart rate monitors. After separating the dogs from their owners for a period of time they brought the pairs together again and observed their heartbeats. They found that within a minute both heartbeats dropped significantly and “even appeared to mirror each other.” Continue reading “Know when the human/dog bond can bite you in the face by Ed Boks”

Is your pet suffering? by Ed Boks

Is your pet lonely?

The New York Times recently ran a piece by Jessica Pierce asking the provocative question “Is your pet lonely and bored?” Today there are as many pets in the United States as there are people; and in most homes pets are family — and not just dogs and cats, but rabbits, rats, bearded dragons and snakes.

According to many veterinarians and psychologists this phenomenon is evidence of a deepening “human-animal bond.” Scientists studying animal cognition and emotion are continually peeling back the mysteries of animal minds, revealing an incredible and often surprising richness in the thoughts and feelings of other creatures. Continue reading “Is your pet suffering? by Ed Boks”

THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACK CATS AND HALLOWEEN

The Truth About Black Cats

It’s that time of year when animal shelters have to combat a lot of misinformation regarding black cats. Some shelters stop adopting black cats in October for fear they will be tortured. However, in the history of humane work, no one has ever documented any relationship between adopting black cats, and cats being killed or injured. The belief that adopting black cats will result in ill consequences can be traced to three sources:

1) Ignorance:

Some suggest “witches” adopt black cats for use in ritualistic sacrifices. Actually, witches do not harm their “familiars,” who are supposed to be their eyes and ears in the spirit world. To harm a familiar would be to blind and deafen oneself. Continue reading “THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACK CATS AND HALLOWEEN”

Polls Show Younger Travelers Shun Attractions That Exploit Animals by Ed Boks

Young travelers shun attractions that exploit animals

September 27th is World Tourism Day.  That makes this a good day to consider the impact this trillion-dollar industry has on wildlife.

A recent poll suggests young travelers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact tourism has on animals.  This awareness is influencing their travel choices for the better. Continue reading “Polls Show Younger Travelers Shun Attractions That Exploit Animals by Ed Boks”