roject Empathy-everybody knows what sympathy is but very few people understand the concept of empathy.
Empathy, if I may paraphrase, is keeping one foot in your own shoe and one foot in another’s shoe and managing to walk. It’s about understanding and accepting others for who they truly are, beyond the surface. Not judging them on circumstances or mistakes or background. It’s about caring for another outside of oneself.
That’s what animals do naturally-they are born carriers of empathy. They don’t judge, they don’t have expectations, they don’t criticise. They love you, are so loyal and accept you for exactly who you are. They see your soul, your purity, not what circumstances have made you.
ACF believes animals are the best medium by which we can teach others to not just be compassionate and empathic towards animals but also towards oneself and people around us.
It is almost therapeutic to be surrounded by our rescued shelter animals who have all endured some trauma and seen intense pain and sadness and today, are funny, happy and adorable individuals with huge personalities who don’t let their scars, suffering, and injuries slow them down.
Each animal has a story just like every person does. And we wanted to tell their stories. ACF in fact began with the vision of giving those marginalised and neglected communities in society a voice. When one is helpless and unable to rescue oneself, our goal is to ensure that helpless living being, person or animal, doesn’t feel alone and knows that someone is coming for them-that there is hope. And we believe street and labour animals are at the lowest rung of that ladder of hopelessness.
In our experience, rescued street cats, dogs, kites, horses and labour animals such as donkeys will greet you and love you with abandon if they are given a little bit of love and care.
ACF aims to spread the much-needed feeling of empathy within society. And we invite children and people from every walk of life to experience this amazing feeling at the shelter. It’s like magic. It’s just beautiful.
Hence, as part of our initiative, we team up with children from different schools, those with special needs, the blind and deaf and children who are recovering from drug addiction to spend time with us. What better place to start over and learn about compassion than a place free of judgement, a place where lives are transformed everyday, a place where second chances are a norm, a place that has seen suffering turn to happiness, a place where we are fortunate enough to feel compassion, empathy, and love as a universal feeling every moment of everyday.