We don’t really know what the other animals feel. When we see a female Elephant, tending its dead calf, we can’t ever know what she’s experiencing. Does she feel pain similar to the pain a human mother would feel at the death of her child? We doubt this, probably because it’s too hard for us to comprehend and accept. How would we cope with that?
We’d struggle to cope, because it’s possible to comprehend the pain, we would feel, at the loss of a child. And if animals felt this pain? What if nature was this cruel to all animals? We seem to think that because other animals don’t feel in the same way we do, that mother nature isn’t in fact as cruel to all things equally.
Mother nature might seem cruel, yet there is a gentle side to her also. She can display such beauty, all we need do, is see it. When it comes to us humans, our beauty lies in our ability to feel. Be this pain or joy our emotions are an extraordinary thing to consider. How much time do we spend considering human emotions, and in particular, the emotions of others?
I can tell you about a young boy, Bradley; I met him recently. He’s thirteen, very timid, small for his age, and very quiet. He makes a lot of mistakes and his mother doesn’t understand why. She thinks a counsellor or drugs might help. She tells me his father, who is no longer with her, used to blame him for lots of things; he even used to blame the child for the things that were going wrong in his own life; his own failings. To the boy, most things are now his fault.
“Bradley’s thirteen and he makes lots of mistakes.”
I feel for Bradley. In my past lives, I’ve been blamed, for many of the mistakes of others. What’s the expression? Oh yes … a stool pigeon: someone to blame for the errors of the world. Someone to hang for the sins of the fathers. It’s an easy burden when I see it for what it is. My burden is light, so hang it all on me, why don’t you?
And so I can sympathise with Bradley, he potentially has a shitty life ahead of him; his father is also a child, yet this doesn’t excuse his weakness. As much as possible and appropriate, I will intervene in order to lighten his load. He is a child after all. Can you feel his pain? Do you remember what it feels like to be a child?
“We need to remember if we’re to heal the wounds.”
I think about the pain there must be in losing a child. A recent story about how a beautiful little girl, four years old, was crushed under a runaway lorry; it’s brakes hadn’t been properly serviced. The owner of the haulage company, and his mechanic, have both been jailed for five and seven years respectively. Does this heal the wound? Does this make us more responsible for taking proper care? Our prisons are now full.
With all this said, it is in fact emotions that make us beautiful. The emotion I can feel when listening to a piece of music. The emotions I feel when I think of loved ones; now gone. The emotions I feel when laughing or crying or dancing or singing, are, in truth, remarkable. Pain, sadness or joy, it’s all of our emotions that make us beautiful.
We must never allow ourselves to stop feeling. There are those who’ve experienced a lifetime of blame and pain. These individuals will, in time, switch off their feelings. When we do this it’s time to die. Are we all dying because of the numbness? An unfeeling life. Are we living an un-life?
Wake and feel what it is to be a beautiful emotional being. A human being capable of such extremes of emotion and behaviour. An emotional being so embroiled in playing games of fear with each other, that we’re losing sight of the very things that matter: each other. Love each other and feel, or shrivel and die, a simple choice.
As for pinning the blame, go ahead, my burden is light. I’ll carry your cross again. א