Daddy Long Legs: Selfishness leads to fear
When I was a small child and playing in a location I had been told not to, I came across a large spider going about it’s business. It was ignoring me. Even when I placed my hands in it’s path, it would walk around me and carry on. This bothered me. I was bigger than it was, and I wanted it to pay attention to me. Still it ignored me. Then I picked it up which I imagine freaked it out because it bit me. Either I dropped it or it ran away and I went crying to my mother. She wasn’t very sympathetic once she learned that I had interfered with it. This experience created my spider fear and I never again went to play where the spider had bitten me.
Giant Eyelash: Fear leads to mistake
Roughly 20 years later I am living overseas for the second time and wake up to find a large, hairy giant-eyelash-looking spider walking along one wall of my bedroom. I start screaming in fear because here I am living in a foreign country and gosh, who knows, maybe it’s poisonous, will bite me and I’ll die, never to see my family again! Looking back at this silly reaction I can not believe my own selfishness and stupidity. What’s worse is the spider was afraid of me and trying to find a place to hide. In my fear, I called a friend who lived close by. When she arrived to defend me from the rather small and frightened arachnid, she tried to reason with me, pointing out the physical power imbalance between myself and the other life source, and the obvious fear of the spider. Caught up in my own fear I insisted she kill it. My friend did not want to kill the spider but she worried for my safety as a foreigner in her land and, heavy-heartedly, did the deed. I’ve been haunted by my murder of this spider ever since.
The Raccoon: Mistake leads to respect
Today I went for a walk with my mother in the wee hours of the morning. As we are walking and chatting, I glance to the right and see a raccoon pause on its path to observe us. It just stares waiting to see what we will do. My mom hadn’t seen it so she continues walking and talking unaware. I lower my voice, send it some kind vibes and continue walking. Seeing that we are no threat, it relaxes and continues on it’s journey. I respected this life force with whom I was sharing the street. It made me feel good to know that I did the right thing. I’ve learned important lessons on how to live peacefully with others.
Lesson Learned: Respect the lives of others
These experiences made me reflective about how people fail to live peacefully with each other. I’ve never been interested in gossip or the lives of others. My task has been to learn to live peacefully with other life forms. However, it seems many people disregard other life forms entirely as they struggle to learn to live peacefully with other humans. I am not speaking of military conflicts. I am speaking of being respectful to other humans in the everyday. Many people, clearly, struggle with this. Working in Saudi Arabia put me into contact with some of the most unpleasant people I’ve ever met. Much of their unpleasantness stemmed from deep insecurity which manifested as an inability to live peacefully with other humans. I was once sitting and chatting with two female colleagues. It was hot outside so we all sat on the roof of our school with our long skirts hiked up and our legs propped up on chairs. One of the Women actually left her chair and walked around to where my feet were propped up so she could look up my skirt. She was not very subtle so I moved my legs in time. I found this really strange and appalling. At the time I assumed that she was just a coarse person who lacked the finesse to simply ask if I wore underwear. Looking back on that country’s highly homosexual context, perhaps she was up to something else. Then again, having received the dubious privilege of observing “Women’s behaviour”, which I had previously thought was only a stereotype, it’s also possible she was engaging in the intrusive behaviour famously attributed to the gender: Woman.
Speaking of: I’m in my fave coffeeshop and I just had to step away from my computer. The only other person in the room is a Woman. Do you know that I actually worried about my computer and other belongings while I was gone? Not because I thought she would steal my things but because my experience has been that Women are not very respectful of other people’s boundaries. I never worry about my personal items when I leave the room and Men are here.
Nonetheless, I’ve learned from animals that being able to respect the personal space and boundaries of others is a marker of maturity and positive self-esteem. If you are comfortable and happy with your own life, you have no interest in the lives of others.
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