"If we are to teach compassion for all life
in this world, and if we are to carry on
a real campaign against cruelty, and against
the destruction of our environment, we
have to begin with reaching children."
~ Betsy Seeton
"There can be no happiness
if the things we believe in
are different from the things we do."
-- Freya Stark (1893-1993)
I can't imagine my life without my passions. One of those passions is developing and designing this website for the purpose of inspiring people to care about animal & human rights. It's been a slow, trial and error solo venture, sometimes adventure since 2007. Many times I wish I had a team of co-workers to discuss content and have the extra mind power. Maybe one day it will work into that. Right now this website is a solo gig and while I actually thrive on independence and being a self-starter, it's incredibly time consuming (lots and lots of research) and my point is, that if I weren’t passionate about it, I would have folded long ago, if for no other reason than it doesn’t make any money. But that’s the most amazing thing about passion. It’s not driven by money nor deterred by the investment of time. It’s this on fire type of desire that’s fanned by its own existence and burns without burning out. It’s almost magical in that way. I love that the joy of feeling passionate is its own reward.
Another passion is capturing life through a camera lens. I took the hawk pictures on a walk around a local pond. Photographing wildlife is one of my favorite things to do. When I’m out with my camera, time feels timeless. I write about this on my Art Gallery website:
I know time doesn’t stop for anyone, but when photography
is a passion, it’s a way of making the most of time and in the end,
it’s also about being able to bring home a slice of that time picture-by-picture.
Money will never buy the feeling of what it’s like to look at life
through the lens of a camera. I love photographing just about
anything. I especially thrive on finding animals and birds in their
When an image gives you that feeling of hitting the sweet part of
the bat, when it’s everything and more that you saw when you
pointed the camera at it, it’s utterly exquisite!
I love capturing simplicity. These winter scenes of grass and weeds were shot over the past couple of days. I'd rather be out with my camera any day than out shopping.
I took these photos of this precious little bunny this afternoon. She let me sit down about 8 feet from her while she munched on a little snow and some dried grass. She let me take as many pictures as I wanted. There's never one time, not one moment, when I don't feel a sense of awe and wonder when I'm around wildlife.
There are a lot of books out there designed to help you discover (or rediscover) your passions. If the number of books is any indication, there are a lot of people floundering around and wondering how to fill up that emptiness inside. I found 50 books just googling the word 'passion' that are how-to guides for living and/or finding the work that feeds your soul. Speaking of soul, there were over 25,000 books with that word in the title. Books specifically about 'finding the work you love' numbered over 100.
My suggestion is try recalling your childhood. That's where your passions are born or at least mine were. I would bet that what you loved as a child is still with you. I feel like I've come full circle in my life. I had a deep love for animals for as long as I can remember. I was three when we brought home my first puppy. I recall every room in that house as I cradled that tiny ball of fur in my arms. I had all kinds of pets growing up - wild and domesticated. I admired Jane Goodall and imagined a life like hers.
Onto the artist in me. I did oil painting renditions of the 101 Dalmatian characters and tried selling them on Main Street when I was 9 or 10. I loved anything artsy. I made candles, designed leather purses and belts, experimented with tie dye, wood carving, and more painting. A few years ago I started exploring welding in addition to abstract painting. The writer in me began in 2nd grade and a love for photography at 9 when my father gave me my first 35mm Argus. That was the same age I remember dreaming of traveling the world to write and photograph far away places, people and animals like I read about in the National Geographic.
I have not made a living doing what I love, but I'm closer than I ever have been and I hope I never give up trying. In the meantime, I indulge every single one of my passions from painting, to photography, to writing and traveling. In these economically challenging times, having passion is priceless.
After spending time with the adorable little bunny yesterday, I found a squirrel with a rope like tail. It's the second time I've seen this. I don't know if the fur was stripped away somehow, or if it's in the breed. It's very unusual. It was fun watching him jump through the tree limbs eating something off the branches. I know people see squirrels in the parks all the time and maybe even find them annoying. I'm curious about them and love observing everything about them. I feel that way about all animals. I've added some furry tailed ones here too. I hope you enjoy. For fun pictures of chipmunks and ground squirrels click here.
I took most of these squirrel pics (above) on my walk today.
The 'Winter Leaves' are just scenes from my daily walks out getting fresh air with my camera. They are just a way of sharing what surrounds me this time of year. It can feel bleak and lifeless or interesting and intriguing. It's a matter of perspective I suppose.
For more bee photos from this hive click here.
By Betsy Seeton
"If we are to teach compassion for all life in this world, and if we are to carry on a real campaign against cruelty, and against the destruction of our
environment, we have to begin with reaching children."
-- Betsy Seeton
One of the best places to nurture the kind of change our world needs, is involving, teaching, and inspiring children. FOR ALL THE ANIMALS offers paid positions for young children ages 8 to 18 who can research, investigate and write about animals and nature. We also want young artists, filmmakers and photographers to apply. Children 7 years old and younger can be our interns.
I imagine a better world when what people value has more to do with what they love doing than about what money can buy. Going after your passions and leading a life inspired by them is central to what drives my own life and is something I encourage others to experience.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller ~
"By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive.
Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and
accept as something precious what comes back to you from them."
~ Albert Schweitzer
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."