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03 March 2009 @ 09:04 am
Tao of the Day  
It was late at night. Her flapping caught my attention. I looked up to see her perched in the rafters. The dove tried to fly out, but she was either hurt or disoriented. She skittered across the ceiling. Landing at the blue windows, she looked out, unable to pass through the invisible barrier. I climbed up and tried to get her to fly out. She let me come very close but was unable to understand my language or actions.

She flew from me but quickly lost altitude and landed on the floor. I climbed down and urged her on. There was just a short distance to go, but she panicked and flew into a wall. She fell to my worktable, stunned, breathing hard, a feather lying at her side. Only then was I able to put her in a box and care for her.

She couldn't understand my intentions and so was hurt. I was unable to help her without being frightening. Were all living beings once connected? Perhaps so, but in this world, the pursuit of love and compassion is not without pain and confusion.

- Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao
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Angerieangerie on March 3rd, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Some people shoot birds for fun, though.
Kburgunder on March 3rd, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
I felt there was a lot of subtext in this anecdote.
Kburgunder on March 3rd, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
The question I've been asking myself today based on this anecdote:

At the end of the day, did the dove experience more or less harm because of Deng's attempts to "be compassionate" at it?
Kburgunder on March 3rd, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
Learning the Right Lessons
One of my hard-won life lessons is about learning the right lessons. In the context of people shooting birds... in the context of heartbreak ending a relationship...

Because of how our survival instinct works, once something hurts us, we tend to deem the think which hurt us with weariness. I trusted someone, and they betrayed me.

What is the wrong lesson?
Don't trust.

What is the right lesson?
Don't trust that someone.
(And watch for patterns in yourself if you keep trusting the wrong people)

What is the wrong lesson?
People shoot birds for fun.

What is the right lesson?
Some people shoot birds for fun.
(And watch for patterns - the gun, for instance...)
Angerieangerie on March 3rd, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Learning the Right Lessons
My problem is inside of the right answer, though.

When they finally announced what they believed happened to the America's Most Wanted guy's son, I was sick to my stomach. I made S swear to keep his hand on her when they're at the store, to avoid abductions. Mom said my resources are better spent somewhere else. Like in the case of molesters: they're probably family, stranger events are rare. So I told her the idea of abduction alone was so devastating that I want to do my best to rule it out. The chance is already slim, fine, I want it at its slimmest.

I was thinking about what you said, how not enough people focus on all the things that Didn't happen, all the times a bird didn't poop on its head. That statement can't soak into my brain - I have a strong, ''Avoid bird poop potential'' drive.

I do think there's an aspect of it that may be healthy and an application that is inappropriate. I get a general F on perspective, and I know it's a prerequisite for this lesson...