Hello everyone, I’m sure many of you would have heard of the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion movement here at WordPress…you can read about the lady who kick started this Lizzi Rogers by clicking the link. When Serins of Serins sphere threw out an open invitation to join in, I jumped at the opportunity.
One of the best definitions for the word Compassion that I’ve read and completely agree with is that ‘Compassion is being able to recognise the suffering and sorrow of others and taking action to help’
When I think of compassion there is an incident that happened in the very recent past that comes to my mind and in this particular instance it was not a human being but an animal, that taught me a valuable lesson and made me think and gain a fresher perspective on this beautiful emotion that helps elevate us and realize the God’s spirit we were all born to embody.
We had a White Christmas here at Salt Lake this year. It was beautiful to see the snow fall and cover the rooftops and the trees and it snowed the whole day on Christmas and the day after.The day after Christmas is when my story begins. We had a visitor at our door who was none other than a little cat. Though in the beginning I just thought it was the T.V, I later came to understand that the mewing and scratching we were hearing was actually happening outside our front door.
Now have I told you that I’m afraid of cats? I don’t hate them. All my life I’ve known people who have cats as pets. One of my Aunts had this huuuge Persian Cat at home and with all its snobbish airs you would assume it was the Shah of Arabia and we the lowly human beings it had so graciously allowed to sit in its kingdom/presence…but all said royalty or not, the moment these creatures come anywhere near me I freak out.
So here we are inside. The husband and I were cleaning up and it got to the point where we had three full bags of trash and we had to throw them out before the next round of cleaning could start and there was this cat mewing at the door. I tried shooing the cat away through a gap through the door and the husband had a wise idea – He got out the vacuum cleaner and started vacuuming the living room. “ The noise should drive the cat away” he said.
Well it worked! I opened the door again and this time the cat was gone! I felt immense relief and volunteered to throw the trash. Little did I know what waited me by the stairs..
The story that follows will be narrated through the eyes of a panic stricken and extremely terrified woman. The moment I stepped out three huge bags of trash in hand, the cat came pouncing up the stairs and towards me. My heart raced at record speed and I started screaming for my husband and shooing the animal away at the same time. No husband came to my rescue as he was vacuuming away to glory and my bellowing outside the door got drowned in his enthusiastic dust busting…
The cat and I were now trash bag to paw – the cat was tugging at my trash bags with its paws I mean. My heart was now beating in my throat and my brain had flatlined…”Take it!” I screamed and dropped two of the three bags I had in my hand and frantically ran down the stairs to the trash can outside.
Once I disposed of the trash, I walked back mind filled with apprehension and fear only to find this was no nightmare – I was wide awake and the cat was still there and so were my trash bags with paper cups and plates spilt all over. The cat had established dominion over my front door and was now giving me the most iciest wide eyed stare.
Seeing I was back, it walked back towards me and settled on a stair just above where I was standing on the stair landing. Once again I shouted for my husband and at this point I realized it would be just me and the cat now and I had to do something about this…I took a few deep breaths and decided to get over myself.
I looked at my enemy the cat one more time..but this time I didn’t look at it with fear rather with an open mind to understand what I was against. It looked back at me and I couldn’t help notice now with my change in attitude it’s eyes were not harsh or barbarous but rather seemed to be pleading with me for mercy, for COMPASSION, to rescue it from the cold…It’s body was shivering as it huddled on the step drawing from its own body heat for warmth. I continued to look into its eyes and this time my mind was more at ease..If this was a talking cat who we will now name – ‘Puss on Stoop’, our exchange at that moment would’ve gone something like this…
Me: “Dear Cat, I hope you don’t think I’m being cruel…not letting you inside”
Puss on Stoop: “But please help me.”
Me: “I would if I wasn’t so scared of you”
Puss on Stoop: “But you don’t have to be scared, look at me, I’m freezing”
Me: “I see that, but its a childhood fear I’ve not quite outgrown, pictures of a lady maimed by her pet cat, I once saw in a magazine when in school is still fresh in my memory…I want to rescue you..but I don’t know how”
And then like an angel of God, my neighbour appeared with his girlfriend’s son, “Hi Nishi, were you planning to drop by the house?” Considering I was standing in front of his house too afraid to climb the stairs and go up to mine I guess that’s what it looked like..I smiled sheepishly and told him the reason I was there.
He took a look at the cat and informed me it was just a kitten and possibly a stray and slowly and gently picked it up from where it was. From the way the cat so quickly glided off the step and onto my neighbours shoulders you could say it was greatful to its saviour and that this was the moment it was waiting for all this time…to be held and rescued…My neighbour told me he would take it to a shelter where it would be safe and in the mean time he took it into his apartment. I thanked him and walked back home.
As silly and frivolous as this incident may seem the little cat taught me a lesson in compassion. Sometimes your fears inhibit conscious thinking. Your mind shuts down and you become blind and incapable of empathy. The opposite of love is not hate it is FEAR.
All the oppression and the brutalities that are going on in the world around us – the wars, killing of innocent children, the torture and lack of tolerance for people, ideas,views and groups all stem from fear and lack of patience to try and understand.
I hope we adopt a more open and broadminded outlook to life and help further build this ‘World Village’.Let’s try and create that world of compassion and brotherhood.Tiny drops….