A few days ago as I brushed my teeth in the morning a miracle happened just before my eyes.
I turned the tap in the bathroom sink and as the water strarted gushing out, I saw a tiny speck swirling about in the rushing water. I jumped and quickly plugged the sinkhole and switched off the water.
I looked more closely and the tiny speck was indeed a tiny bug. I am not sure what swimming stroke it was doing, but it was certainly very frantic and inelegant.
I grabbed a piece of tissue paper and as gently as I could I rescued the bug from the water and started blowing on it as softly as I could, hoping to dry it out and bringing it back to life.
All this happened within seconds and I hoped against hope that the bug would survive the surprise drowning it got, whilst it was simply sunbathing in the morning sunlight filtering through the bathroom window.
As I looked at the bug, it looked so still and there was no sign of any life. I felt sadness and remorse that I had extinguished one little life.
I resumed my teeth brushing and even wondered if I should say a prayer for my departed little friend. Then from the corner of my eye I saw a slight movement on the window sill.
The bug was still alive!
It had dried out, recovered from the “flood” and was now slowly moving around on the tissue paper. I guess in insect land, it would be moving the same way a human moves after regaining consciousness upon fainting.
As I watched, the tiny bug walked around for a while and then a few seconds later it took off just like a helicopter does.
I was filled with relief and joy and my happiness surpassed the level of my sadness from only a few seconds before. I felt that I had just played “god” and had given life back to something. The rest of that day I was on a sheer high.
So what is the lesson here for us?
Well, firstly, it shows that we have deep compassion within us and it extends to all creatures, small and large.
Also, we can indeed play god and make a significant difference to all those around us if we choose to do so. It was also a lesson in trusting, letting go and putting it in the hands of a greater power, whatever form that higher power takes for you.
I now look out for little insects in my sink every time before I open the tap!
On a broader scale, we can also show more kindness and compassion to all those around us.
“Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike – each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.” – Buddha
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama
Compassion is about putting yourself in the shoes of the other person and seeing the world from their perspective. It is about feeling their pain and empowering them to be their best. It is not about pity or patronizing.
What we need to do is replace any thoughts of anger hatred and the wish to give harm with thoughts of tolerance, respect, loving kindness and a wish to only benefit others.
When in your life have you showed compassion to others?
What did you learn?
Spend a few minutes right now and recall a time when you have shown kindness and compassion to someone. Didn’t you just feel great afterwards?
Also, compassion is not at all about carrying out grand acts such as saving a life – you can show kindness in small ways too. Even when you give some directions to someone lost, you feel wonderful for having been able to help someone.
You don’t even need to travel half way around the world to make a difference to someone. Indeed compassion begins at home.
Finally, you can learn about compassion from other people in your life, you just have to slow down, become present and more aware.
How will you bring more compassion into the world today?