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See the Squirrel?

Recently my husband and I were on a trip to Israel. We had an extra free day before we headed home. We were tired of shopping, museums, and touristy sites so we headed for the Zoo. We love the zoo. We've been to zoo's in many states over the years. We were also ready for simply strolling and quiet away from the hustle of the tourists. 

We left the hotel and walked a few blocks to the city's train station, purchased our tickets and enjoyed the people watching as we road to the end of the line.(train ride thoughts for another day.) We departed the train and grabbed a bus to the zoo. 

The zoo was beautiful!! Considering it was the end of spring in Israel and it's desert most of the year, the zoo was very green and lush. There were many families there having picnics in the grass under the trees and there was a live band playing all sorts of music. We immediately found calm for our day. We wandered through the different habitats and paddocks observing many animal species that we'd seen many times over, and then...

See the Squirrel?

a squirrel. 

In a glass house.

I stopped in my tracks. To "see the squirrel."

I had a moment with myself. All kinds of thoughts went through my head, mostly judging how silly it is to have a squirrel in a zoo. Then it hit me.  You see, there are very few trees in Israel. There are thousands of "date palms" for food. There are a few random trees around springs and rivers, but its desert so there are not many of them either. Even in the nature preserve that we went to there were no squirrels. Even the squirrel in the cage was from another country!

What?!?

But my "moment" wasn't the revelation that there are very few trees in Israel or that there are no squirrels. My moment came in once again adjusting my perspective that "everywhere is not America." Ouch! Also thinking about how much I/we assume things of other countries and people without even realizing that we do it. I don't even think of things like that. It's never crossed my mind that other countries don't have squirrels. Most of us just stop thinking at "do they have Starbucks?"

What else don't they have that we take for granted? 

Running water?

Food?

Equal rights?

Peace?

A home...?

All I'm getting at is that we need to be aware of the rest of the world more than we are most of the time. It's easy to be distracted by our own lives and what is or is not happening therein.

A challenge in perspective is a good thing.

Melissa LapinComment