Imagine If Cecil Were a Human

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We don't have to imagine, the proof is pretty clear....

"In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight...wimoweh...wimoweh...AHHHH EEEE OOOOO..."

How I loved that song growing up...

I learned it from listening to famous folk singer Pete Seeger and was taught that it was a traditional Zulu chant that referred to the nascent power of the African people waiting to rise up and free themselves...it was a warning of sorts.

It became a number one hit in the United States in the early 1960s as a doo-wop version took off, and of course Disney could not resist and it made a cameo appearance in the blockbuster Lion King movie as Timon and Pumbaa boogie along the jungle trails inviting us to sing along...

As a child of that song...who taught it to his children and grandchildren and because of its simplicity can even play it on guitar...it immediately sprang into my mind and to my lips - as a form of protest - when I heard the news of the untimely and sad death of the world-renowned Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe.

Clearly I confused Cecil with Simba and the emotions that I feel every time I see the Lion King live - 2 children and 3 grand - they did well by us - bubbled over and I was outraged...and saddened.

For a moment.

The global response seemed overwhelming as the "cruel and vicious and evil" dentist who slaughtered Cecil had his own life threatened, had his practice destroyed and had to go into hiding.

However, a quick look at Google Trends showed the outrage fairly well concentrated in North America and the UK...and another look shows that it's already forgotten and the righteous indignation at the murder of the majestic beast has mostly dissipated.

We saw news anchors crying bitter tears, people shaking with rage, and pure and unadulterated hatred spewing across posted social channels.

And now quiet.

So let's get real...

Read what Zimbabweans have been writing - outside the fact that Lions to them are animals to be feared and not cuddly, cute animated heroes - that, by the way, eat their children - they wondered where the outrage was for the crushing poverty in their country...the rage for the unconscionable high rate of child mortality...the tears for the deaths of people killed in disregard for any basic human rights...and by the way...not one of them had ever heard of Cecil...the supposed symbol of the country.

Read about Zimbabwe...and then ask yourself...what is wrong with us?

Seems to me on the one hand we saw another instance of cat fever that so compels us to share...by the way for you digibabble types, the fascination has nothing to do with digital anything...it is age old and in modernish times can be traced to the 1870s with Harry Pointer and his carte de visites featuring cats...

That being said - don't think it's enough...

So how about this...

How does a virus spread?

Simple...

When our immune system...our defenses are weak...or missing...

So think on this - our primal anthropomorphic worship of certain animals linked to our natural human fear and hatred for dentists (sorry to all my dentist friends but I suffer from that fear too) created a purrfect (sorry...) storm of lowered resistance that in two susceptible markets let the virus spread...elsewhere, not so much.

And by the way - like many viruses...it raged and then disappeared...

So it goes...and people in Zimbabwe are still dying...and the dentist is still in hiding and not many seem to care either way.

There you have it...

But here is the rub...what actually happened here? What was actually accomplished?

People are pissed at the dentist, airlines won't carry trophy killings and nothing has changed in Zimbabwe...and, by the way, they eat baby elephants...

Listen:

Action expresses priorities. Mahatma Gandhi

And clearly our priority was not people...based on our actions....

Maybe if we took a look at what trends - at our actions as defined by social graphs - maybe our priorities could change....

Try it - see what you think and if it makes you see things differently...

Last thought - read the real story about the "Wimoweh" song - I promise you, it will make you reevaluate...

What do you think?