If I’m going to rate the importance of all things, then I must rate empathy above all else. The ability to step into another’s shoes with compassion and a willingness to comprehend and sympathize is worth gold, worth food, worth the air the effort takes. If I’m going to rate the importance of all things, then I must put the insects before the mammals, the wild before the tame, the small before the large, the adaptable before the fixed. I know that in the hierarchy of all things I am nothing. This is not a subject of pain to me but one of fact, something to know and not take personally. I am nothing when held up to everything. This is not the same as being something to those who love me – because that is precious and real but totally different. If I am to rate the importance of all things, then I must rate the hierarchy of nature above my wishful thinking.