I was so overjoyed to see my first fruit fly this year. After a very harsh winter with all the green life buried under several feet of snow, I was really overjoyed. Such a feeling of relief and gratitude washed over me – knowing life continued to flourish and all things green were once more moving towards the light. Despite the setbacks and the halting progress the warmth of spring was beginning to be felt everywhere. Really overjoyed.
It wasn’t always thus. I remember a few summers ago hearing of several people expound on various ways of getting rid of those pesky little fruit flies that can get overwhelming in your kitchen. Sounded good. Put some rotting fruit inside a plastic bag, leave it open overnight. In the morning your bag is full of fruit flies, close the end and kill as many as you can. So I did – mind you, not without a twinge of guilt. But the upside was I had a kitchen relatively free of fruit flies, and I could continue my poor housekeeping habits of leaving out half-eaten fruit. Huh?
Later that week I got a slap on the wrist from a Spiritualist Church reading. It referred very directly to the “insects” that also deserved to live- who also have their place in life! Ouch!
Hinduism and Buddhism very much both emphasize non-violence toward to all of life : the principle of non-injury to all living creatures. There really is a natural hesitation to killing. I remember as a young child almost falling over trying to avoid stepping on an ant on the church steps (going in the opposite direction -maybe I should have taken a hint.)
When I traveled with my spiritual teacher in India I gave myself the job of showing out the lizards and swatting the mosquitoes. She herself didn’t swat, just shoo away and tried to arrange for deterrent measures for the ants that kept wanting to climb the legs of the bed. There usually are alternatives to killing.
As a planet we’re moving towards non-violence, more empathy, less aggressive behaviour. Believe it. Project it. Be it.
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