Letter to the Editor

letterDear Sir:

Chance meetings between strangers, especially in Ajijic, can prove to be significant in quite unexpected ways. I found the following experience to be a timely reminder, and I pass it on to your readers in good faith.

Last month I struck up a conversation with a most interesting man who turned out to be a thinker and an informed voice on environmental issues – issues which are now entering the realm of human attention; opening, for the first time in history, human awareness of the vital link which exists between all forms of life, both vegetable and animal (this includes you and me); that when this link is broken through human ignorance, or simply thoughtless killing of everything that moves, our human survival is deeply threatened - what we kill eventually, by its loss to the whole, will kill us. We depend upon the bees, the butterflies, the birds, as well as on all other forms of wild-life which together with us form a symbiotic union of mutual support. We do not, and cannot live in isolation from the life that surrounds us; so, move over human, there is room for all of us in your yard.

The man I was talking to turned out to be a specialist in the study of birds – no wonder that he was giving wings to my awakening consciousness! He left me with the message (he said to be passed on to friends, family and neighbours) that “This is the time of year when birds in the wild are raising their chicks”; he went on to say, “Be mindful of this while tidying up your yard; pruning your trees, cleaning out the nooks and crannies round your house and garden, especially ornaments such as wall hangings and open metal sculptures, hidden places where birds may have built a nest and now are feeding their young chicks; those chicks are, in a most profound way, your future and your survival.”

He added, “Building empathy for other life forms is the first step to developing a Reverence for Life, and a Respect for Self.” He shook my hand; turned and walked away leaving me with the thought that something important had just taken place. We had not even exchanged names! This is Ajijic – full of light and learning beyond the walls (both physical and psychological) that contain us – if only we will see it, hear it, and embrace it as an essential part of Self !

In writing this, I am left with the disturbing thought that ‘it has been the animals’ (wild and domestic) misfortune to have been born into a world overrun by the Human Species.’

John Cawood

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