Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A lesson in Compassion

“Pullover” said Jayeshbhai to the driver of the car.
We had passed by the carcass of a young dog, that had recently been run over by a car on the busy Ahmedabad – Gandhinagar highway. As we walk back a hundred feet from the car to the incident we see the dog’s mother eagerly avoiding cars to be with her son. She sees his body, but clearly she’s confused by his absence.
Wary of not angering the concerned mother we carefully bring the young body to the side of the road. The mother is visibly relieved to be with her son without having to dodge cars. A few passersby also join us as we hold hands around the body to say a small prayer. As we close our eyes, the mother voices her thanks – as if in acknowledgement for allowing her this moment of peace with her son. It was at that moment that I was reminded again of what compassion is in our daily lives.
‘Pity’ would be to feel bad for what transpired, to see the situation as ‘broken’. The other extreme would be to see this incident as inconsequential and continue on our way.
Compassion is a fine balance between the two. To hold the moment we had witnessed in prayer and respect. To appreciate exactly what occurred and dedicate our lives in service to these larger forces at play.
The prayer becomes even more relevant as I think about it: “From the untruth to the truth, from darkness to light, from death to the infinity that lies beyond.” Ours is a journey. To be human is to constantly strive to strike the right balance between extremes.
~ Love all, serve all ~

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