Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – January 7, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – January 7, 2004 – I’m not thinking today about the souls of dearly departed family members, friends or business and social contacts. I’m thinking instead about the souls of other living creatures. I know there are some schools of religious and spiritual thought that say that birds, animals, mammals, insects and plant life are ‘lower’ on the scale of evolution than we humans, and therefore lack a soul.
Well – I’ll have none of that in my thoughts. I believe that all living beings who populate this wondrous, vibrant planet, that we are privileged to call our home, have an inner spirit or essence. Perhaps they experience things at a different level than we humans do, but I believe they feel pleasure, pain, fear, longing, joy, sadness and love.
Everything is connected, as is so eloquently stated, in the beautiful quotation:
“You cannot pick a flower without troubling a star”.
I despise the term “road kill” that is bandied about with such humour in our society. Whenever I pass a bird or animal that has lost its life on a road or highway, I say, without fail, “bless your wee soul”. I may well be the only person who drives by that day who acknowledges that a life ceased to exist when that creature was lost. I always hope that death came quickly and mercifully, or that shock alleviated the suffering. I hope that no hungry babies are waiting somewhere for a mother who will never return.
I also rescue spiders who are trapped in sinks and bath tubs and earth worms stranded on the sidewalk after a heavy rain. I think of the loss of our lands to development, the destruction of trees to satisfy a human whim and the senseless devastation of living things that have become inconvenient to humankind. We should be so ashamed.
But I’m also hopeful and encouraged. I believe there is a groundswell of understanding in many parts of the world, about the treatment of human, animal and plant life. Many people are not just thinking “enough” – they are standing up and saying “enough”. Every wave started out as a ripple. You don’t need to voice your concerns at every chance – or at all, but if you even think that there may be a better way for all living things to co-exist, then your conscious, positive and caring thoughts can start to transform that ripple into a wave.
So think outside the box just a little! I’m grateful that I’ve grown to the degree that I can say out loud, “It bothers me to see dead creatures on the road”. I don’t care if I am ridiculed. Yes, I admit that was me helping a bumble bee to freedom when he was trapped in a window and struggling to survive.
The desire to live is not unique to humans. You would fight for your own life and for the survival of those you love – so when it comes to living creatures – great or small – think about it – don’t they have as much right to be here as you do?