If you are committed to a noble cause, you dedicate your life to finding solutions. That is the way of life: you see many needs, one in particular gets your attention, you make a decision, and then you act. Animal welfare can be one of those causes.
The need for humane animal welfare never goes away. Each generation must be taught the ways of good care so that they may be passed down to future generations. I made this decision over 20 years ago, and it has guided my entire dog training career, so I can speak from personal experience, and from working with others who have done the same thing.
As you go along, you will do many things that will get no notice, no thanks, and you’ll get no credit. If you are a normal person, that will bother you from time to time. Everyone wants thanks for doing good. It is in our nature to want recognition.
But if something is truly a noble cause, you must have the maturity to abandon the desire to gain anything from it. I have done many things over the past 20 years to advance animal welfare, from public speaking, to donations, volunteering, innovating solutions, getting people to act, devising new dog behavior modification methods, and so on.
And to be honest, I’ve wanted to get credit for those things. Didn’t anyone notice? Did anyone care? Don’t I matter, too? I’ve seen others in animal welfare asking the same questions. The good ones recognize the cause is more important than they are and they go on. Yet, I’ve seen others who end up quitting or forcing others to recognize them. In any cause, there are those who lust for power and prestige, to the point that they can be aggressive, disgusting, and even betray others and the cause to get their laurels.
Here’s what I recommend in these circumstances:
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “ – Matthew 6:6
For myself, I decide to keep it private and realize the reward is going to be the results, not in the praises of others. I recognize what I do in life matters, even if no one else realizes it. I also practice the WIN Principle: What’s Important Now? What is important is the cause, not the flattery of others. What is important is making a difference: that is the valuable reward. People are fickle. They will love you one day and hate you the next. You can’t live for that kind of payment for all your hard work. You have to find satisfaction in the results so that one day you can look back on your life and say to yourself, not only did you make a difference, you did it all for the right reasons and got the right kind of commendation: self respect.
So, go do that good work today, and tomorrow, and the next day. Your permanent reward is in heaven, not in the short term memories of others.