Perspective From the Big Top

Posted by: , April 5, 2010 in 9:24 am

th outnumbered Perspective From the Big TopI don’t have a ton of accessible memories of when I was a young child. One of the fondest memories I can recall, is of me, my little brother and my mom, taking a trip to see the Ringling Brothers Circus at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. My Mother was a single parent and we didn’t have a lot of money but I can assure you that the money was well spent; her return on investment cashed out in smiles. In those days, I would imagine that smiles were worth a lot more to her, than the price of admission.

“Animals in Circuses don’t perform because they want to; they perform because they’re afraid not to.”

When I became a parent, I promised myself that I would do whatever it takes to make my kids feel loved. I tell them every single day how I feel about them. There is also a part of me that wants them to experience some of the same things that I did. I want us to have that connection. Or maybe I just want to experience it all over again. It helps me remember…

“Video footage shows Ringling employees aggressively hooking elephants with a sharp, steel tipped bullhook. The use of bullhooks results in pain, suffering, trauma and injuries, including lacerations, bloody puncture wounds, swelling and abscesses.”

I took my oldest daughter to the Circus when she was four years old. I think I cried when the lights went down at the start of the show. I never would have thought, that watching my kid devour a cloud of cotton candy, would have such a profound effect on my soul. It did. I still hold onto the taste of her tiny, sugar coated kisses. I’ve locked them away forever…

“A young lion named Clyde died of apparent heatstroke in a sweltering boxcar on a Ringling train as it crossed the Mojave Desert in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees F.”

My youngest daughter is now three and a half. She goes to Pre-School. The other day, she came running over to my wife. She could hardly contain her excitement. Her class was going to the Circus! My wife and I don’t love sending her on class field trips. We think she’s too little. We worry too much. When we told her that she couldn’t go, she cried. My heart sank. I hadn’t realized the Circus was in town. I’ve been so busy. My bad…

“Elephants in Circuses spend most of their time chained by two legs, which only gives them enough space to move 3 feet forward or backward.”

That night I went online and grabbed four tickets to the Sunday afternoon show. The Circus was in town and I wanted her to go. It would be her first time. I needed to go too. When I told her that she was going to go after all, she gave me a big hug. Sunday couldn’t come fast enough. For both of us…

“Former Ringling employees describe violent beatings and daily abuse of elephants, tigers, horses, camels, zebras and other animals.”

The show was amazing. Ringling Brothers never disappoints. It’s the Greatest Show On Earth. She didn’t say a single word. Her eyes were transfixed on the spectacle. I can’t imagine what it must be like for a three year old to see an elephant up close. I watched her the entire time, eating clouds of cotton candy. Patiently, I waited for my tiny, sugar coated kisses. Like my Mom before me, my return on investment was cashed out in smiles…

KidCircus Perspective From the Big Top

I also had this waiting for me on my car windshield…

Flyer02 Perspective From the Big Top

I’m not taking sides.

I’m just offering my perspective from the Big Top…



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