Yes, the moose is a favorite animal of mine.  There’s history, philosophy and general appreciation that connect with my psyche when it comes to this great beast.  Doesn’t everyone have an animal that is some how deeply knitted with their personalities?

All of us have a history of  nicknames, right?  Remember those elementary school days?  For some it followed them into High School and beyond.

One of the nicknames that made a foray into my past was “Bruce the Moose”.  But, it really didn’t stick.  At least in what others called me, it didn’t stick.

There was no reason for the name to have any meaning.  People just liked the rhyme.  It was one of those grammar school expressions when everyone in the class was given a nickname.

The name didn’t bother me.  In fact it made me curious.  This was a good name to have.

Some had bad names.  No one wanted to be laughed at during our single digit years.  It was tough enough to find our confident identity.

But, at least I got to thinking.  The  moose is kind of goofy looking.  Some even say ugly.

That’s a tough word, don’t you think?  It borders on disrespect, since “ugly” is really just an opinion.  There is nothing objective about it.

One subjective biased or calloused assessment is another’s marvel and appreciation.  If we can imagine for a moment, that no moose thinks that the species can possibly be ugly.  They find each other quite attractive.

But, it’s us humans that expend so much energy with wasted opinions.  We force a very limited segment of our population to be declared the “beautiful” while those who are ignore the rest of us.  Yet, the moose is big, powerful, enduring, courageous and magnificent.

Bring these two worlds together, human and animal, and there is a reason that I like this creature.  It has something to do with my penchant for encouragement.  When I get a chance I will rescue, champion the oppressed, help the helpless or defend the marginalized.

One person assessed it well.  “Bruce, it’s no wonder you like moose.  They’re so ugly, somebody has got to love ’em!”  He may have made a key observation that explains a lot.

Over  the years, I have gravitated to helping the lonely, abandoned and peripherals.  I look for them.  Then, I engage them.  Yup, the moose is my symbol of encouragement, God’s gifting for  me to give away.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography