It may be said, “It is a trendy world we see today rather than a quality world”. People chase after trends without inquiring or reasoning on what is the essence of these trends. Some of those trends are truly rooting from some virtue or moral value that has been there since the beginning of communities and the formation of societies. But some are just trends for the sake of being a trend.
One such trend we see in high profile in modern society is kindness to animals. In fact, showing kindness to animals is a great, big heart act. Without having great empathy and loving kindness in your heart, you cannot express kindness to any animal or living being genuinely. Without having the above qualities in your heart, you may love animals, just to show off you love it. But neither you nor the animal you try to care would feel any love or compassion. If we show real kindness, the animal would react in such a way it felt the love and attention you gave.
When the love, kindness, and compassion are rooting from a social trend or from any other cause rather than kindness or empathy rooting from one’s heart, you become a selective lover of animals, instead of caring for all animals in general. I have seen exclusive “Dog lovers” who hate cats. “Cat fans” who hate dogs. The trendy society label all these exclusive scenarios as “Kindness to animals”.
The true kindness encompasses a non-violent empathetic and kindness-oriented countenance to all living beings including humans. When you are in the perception “animals are better than humans” you lack a vital element in your kindness to animals. You despise your own kind and assume you love other animals. This is a fallacy. Thus, you see the world through colored glasses.
I recall the story heard from one of my closest friends. One day while he was cleaning up his room, he dusted off an old bag hanging on a corner of his room. Suddenly to his surprise, a mouse jumped off from inside the bag. He started off taken aback by the sudden occurrence and dropped the bag on the floor. And from the bag, two little mice slowly came out. Apparently, the mouse who fell earlier was the mother of the two babies he saw now.
The mother ran away in fear of hurt. The little ones were there wondering what is going to happen. My friend, who was not a trendy animal lover, was sympathetic towards these little mouse family. He picked up the little baby mice in his hands. Picked up the bag and places them carefully inside. Next, he replaced it in the same place where it was before. He related this story and made an interesting remark in the end. My room is a sanctuary for all living beings.
However, our animal kindness is very selective. We love domesticated pets, but do not pay attention to an ant drowning in a pond. There is a serious problem in our practice. We do not extend our kindness to animals who harm us. The mosquito who stings us and the dog we keep as a pet are both members of the same animal kingdom. All of them deserve to be shown compassion in the same way. The mosquito does not sting with the intention of killing or crushing you. It just tries to fulfill his hunger. But you crush it with the sole intention of killing. It makes a big difference.
Great Lord Buddha who preached this amazing philosophy on showing absolute compassion to all living beings. Moreover, it is proved by living examples that even predators will not harm you if you practice real kindness to animals in your mind.
Hence, Its time to tear off meaningless trends and spread the message of harmony and compassion to all living beings.