I wasn’t always a nice guy, and I’d imagine that there’s a lot of people out there who might be able to say the same about themselves. Not too many years ago, if I happened across a beetle traveling along its merry way, there was a strong chance that it would have a meeting with the bottom of my boot.
One day, I asked myself. . . why do you do these things? Why are you killing these bugs for no reason? You’re certainly not about to eat that spider, cockroach, ant, fly, or gnat (maybe by accident.) Thankfully, I grew out that, but why didn’t insects deserve compassion?
I was walking with one of my coworkers one day, and he stomped a beetle just as I used to. I asked him, “Why’d you do that?”
“I don’t know,” he replied.
I said, “What if an alien came down from the sky right now and smashed you into the ground because it thinks you’re stupid and ugly? Me too for that matter.”
I’m not too certain if he ever changed his ways, but I’d like to think that I planted a seed in his mind, to make him think twice the next time, which was something that nobody ever really did or said to me. We were all violent kids growing up in south Florida. It seemed like hunting birds with our sling shots and BB guns was all there was to do.
Nowadays, I try to save just about everything, even inside my apartment. Obviously you can’t save everything, and if you have a flea or mosquito infestation. . . well, they just gotta die. I’m not saying that we all need to be Ghandi, but if you have a choice in the matter, try to do the right thing. Everything on the planet really just wants to live; everything from a blade of grass to a fish in the ocean.
Over the past couple of years, I have begun pondering why people base an animals right to life on their intelligence. “Oh, well they’re just dumb animals anyway.” I’ve heard that one a few times. I suppose it’s a justification to themselves, suggesting that animals don’t know pain or fear, to which I reply that they certainly do.
Being outwardly kind is one of the best portrayals of yourself that you can put out into the world. Our inner selves have a choice to be as beautiful or as ugly as we want to be, and we still have the option to change, no matter how late in life we choose to evolve.
When you know you’ve done something positive, you feel better about yourself. There are only so many opportunities in life to really test your inner strength. You only have so many opportunities to stand up and save something or someone’s life. When I pulled the blue jay from the cat’s mouth and watched it fly away, that’s one of the best feelings I ever had. That was almost thirty years ago, and I still remember it well.
As for the Canadian gosling in the photo, he/she is now living the good life on my parents’ farm. My house is practically a zoo, with a wolf hybrid, three cats, two geckos, a fish, a snail, and three plants. I hope that I’ve somehow made amends for how I once was.