The Bunny Experiment

I have a friend named Eva, and she is the best! I met her almost 20 years ago when we had children at the same elementary school. We don’t cross paths frequently, but when we see each other, Eva is engaging. She shows genuine interest in the lives of my children. She is quick to give a hug, and always has a cheery disposition. Eva works at a school, and loves nurturing and caring for those kids.

Eva’s kind ways remind me of “The Rabbit Effect.” Gary Stevenson shared the findings that transpired because of a sample group of rabbits.

Gary related, “In the 1970s, researchers set up an experiment to examine the effects of diet on heart health. Over several months, they fed a control group of rabbits a high-fat diet and monitored their blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol.

As expected, many of the rabbits showed a buildup of fatty deposits on the inside of their arteries. Yet this was not all! Researchers had discovered something that made little sense. Although all of the rabbits had a buildup, one group surprisingly had as much as 60 percent less than the others. It appeared as though they were looking at two different groups of rabbits.

To scientists, results like this can cause lost sleep. How could this be? The rabbits were all the same breed from New Zealand, from a virtually identical gene pool. They each received equal amounts of the same food.

What could this mean?

Did the results invalidate the study? Were there flaws in the experiment design?

The scientists struggled to understand this unexpected outcome!

Eventually, they turned their attention to the research staff. Was it possible that researchers had done something to influence the results? As they pursued this, they discovered that every rabbit with fewer fatty deposits had been under the care of one researcher. She fed the rabbits the same food as everyone else. But, as one scientist reported, “she was an unusually kind and caring individual.” When she fed the rabbits, “she talked to them, cuddled and petted them. … ‘She couldn’t help it. It’s just how she was.’”

She did more than simply give the rabbits food. She gave them love!”1

During these tumultuous times, I’m certain that the remedy for the contention, anxiety, sickness, and unrest in the world is simply LOVE! If we follow the example of this compassionate caregiver, we can make a difference in the lives of others.The researcher healed the hearts of the bunnies she cared for with her kind and nurturing spirit.

My friend, Eva, is an example of Christ-like love. She follows Jesus counsel to love our neighbor. She can’t help it. It’s just how she is. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we reached out to those we can affect with love and kindness?

The Good Samaritan, by Annie Henrie Nader

How blessed we are to know that we are under the care of the Savior of the world, who loves us completely. Neil Andersen reminds us that “The Savior is our Good Samaritan, sent “to heal the brokenhearted.” He comes to us when others pass us by. With compassion, He places His healing balm on our wounds and binds them up. He carries us. He cares for us. He bids us, “Come unto me … and I shall heal you.”2

May we follow the great commandment to “love one another; as I have loved you.”3 One by one we can touch those around us and make the world a better place.

In faith,


1 Hearts Knit Together, by Gary E. Stevenson

2Wounded, by Neil L. Andersen

3John 13:34