Thursday, January 08, 2009

What does Christian The Lion mean to us?

At a time when Christian the lion was completely forgotten by the world, I put up a detailed page about him, complete with the "reunion video" that has since moved millions of people around the world. I had to bring his story to the world; that reunion scene is so very touching, so very explicit in revealing the emotional life of an animal.

But I don't think I've seen or heard anyone explore why the reunion of Christian with John and Ace touches us so deeply.

My explanation is that the pain of separation is the deepest kind of pain we experience. We all experience the pain, whether it's as "separation anxiety" as a baby or because of the death of someone we love dearly. With Christian, the separation from John and Ace was the result of their altruistic love for him, to give him the best life they knew how to give. To add to the mix is the communications barrier that separates human and animal: he can't send a postcard, we're not sure what he's thinking. To see so clearly that after such a long time of separation that his love for the two men was as strong as ever gives us all hope. It is visual proof that love can transcend all barriers--time, space, language, species...

Love is universal.

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