Thursday, May 8, 2014

Whoever Saves a Life Saves the World

Whoever saves a life saves the world is a saying which derives from the Judaic tradition. A beautiful and meaningful philosophy, when enacted upon, it becomes a powerful gesture of love, compassion, and commitment to the sanctity of life

Although the first thought is that these words refer to humans saving humans, it is applicable to all beings. Case in point: although I screamed hysterically when a giant hairy black tarantula appeared in my living room, sitting on the carpet like an invited guest, it was touching to see my husband tenderly usher him into a bag and set him loose in the wilds of our suburban compound. The next night when he or his clone appeared again on my carpet - same time, same place  - the screams that ushered forth from me were more deep and powerful than I ever thought possible. This time, I got a broom and pinned it down until said husband finally heard the howling.

When I lifted the broom for Michael to shoo it into a bag, the monster was dead; squashed rather than merely trapped by my straw weapon. Despite my fear and horror at the site of this alien creature the size of a baseball, my heart hurt when I saw what my fear had caused (apart from an inky stain on my beige carpet).

A life had been extinguished that sought no harm. But because it didn't look like me or talk like me and it was judged to be hideous; an innate impulse to be rid of it had overtaken me. How often is this same situation enacted even between humans, who are a lot more similar than the tarantula and me?

Every creature brings something of value to the interwoven, delicate balance of Mother Nature's creation. When we preserve the harmony of the biosphere, the world is indeed saved and preserved. Best to remember, next time the life and soul of a being crosses our path.

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