By Miles Clyne
At dinner one evening at our neighbour’s, someone mentioned that there was a dead bird in the area between our homes. I could see sadness taking over their son’s face. He is about 12. This young man has a level of compassion that is well beyond his years and maybe beyond the ability of many.
The ensuing discussion was not so much about what to do with the bird, but more about who was going to deal with it. I didn’t have an issue personally taking care of the problem. I was then asked what I’d do with it. My level of compassion in this case did not match the young man who wore the pain of the deceased bird. He thought a burial should be in order to pay proper respect.
He and I disagreed as to what would be most fitting. His point of the burial was that it is what we do for ourselves. My point was that we don’t know what is appropriate for a bird. In bird world, maybe a burial is the worst thing you could do? There was only one solution to this great debate: Google.
My young friend raced to the PC for the answer. There were many answers. As it turns out, we agreed that the most fitting came from a veterinarian. He suggested that people should let the bird return to the wild. Take the bird to open land and place him where he was out of the public’s way and let nature take its course.
So What Is So Significant About This?
What was so remarkable about this young friend was his ability to go beyond his emotions. When presented with a question about the logic that was driving his emotions, he understood that maybe he wasn’t addressing the issue in the best way, and though he may be right, he may not be. He didn’t look for answers that satisfied him, but what would most likely honour the fallen bird.
I was sincerely humbled by this unselfish ability to distinguish between the two. We see all around us the selfishness that drives inhumane acts of greed and violence. I hope for this young man and the world that minds like this grow uncorrupted. These are the minds we climb mountains for to gain their insight.