Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It Makes a Difference to this One

A few days ago Raven and I were returning home when we noticed that there was a fish tank set out beside the big garbage bin. Even though it was -25°c I trudged over to investigate - mostly out of curiousity more than anything else. as I got closer I noted that there was still some water in it and when I lifted the lid off I was horrified to see there was a goldfish in there - nose down and barely moving in the freezing water. I picked the tank up and struggled back over the snow and ice to my home, where I put the tank on my table for it to warm up and hoped that it would be enough for the little guy to recover.

I don't understand how someone could do this. To me it seems a horrific disrespect for life - to leave an unwanted pet outside to freeze when I am sure, with a little bit of effort, a home could be found. It's a act of cruelty devoid of compassion. Sure, it might seem like one tiny insignificant life, an inconvenience easily discarded... but the reality is that we are no more or less important than that one fish. We all go through life depending on the generousity and care of others, and we all have opportunities presented to us to help those we meet along the way. No act of kindness is ever to simple to make an impact in some way.

This reminds me of a fable I heard recently. "As the old man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. He asked him why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun. The old man politely pointed out that the beach went on for miles and there are millions of starfish, insinuating that the young man's efforts were futile. The young man looked at the tiny starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. It makes a difference to this one, he said."

No comments: