Walking my daughter to daycare today, we were discussing matters of great import such as whether or not kids are smarter than grown-ups (my theory that they were perhaps just more curious was resoundingly trounced) and why sharks have to be so mean all the time. A car drove smoothly by and just after it passed, I noticed a squirrel in the middle of the road twisting and jerking frantically. It took a moment or two for me to realize what had happened. In fact, it took me so long that for a split-second, I thought to point out the funny dance to my daughter. Once it sunk in, I sucked in my breath and grabbed my girl into my arms (intending to not let her see the squirrel’s final moments of agony). Of course she saw, asked what had happened and I started to panic. “Nothing honey…let’s hurry along and call the vet...I’m sure everything will be fine”. We turned the corner and I calmed down enough to realize what a horrid and pointless thing that I’d just done…pretending nothing happened. Besides, she wasn’t buying it.
I sat her down on the curb, and we talked about it…in as much detail as I felt appropriate for a tender-hearted 5 year old. (Can’t help but be a Mom so I did slide in the fact that the squirrel probably didn’t look both ways). She took it all in stride, asked me wonderful questions and I think she mostly got it. She was confused about the driver of the car. Why didn’t he stop? Why was he so careless? I explained that because we didn’t hear anything, he likely hadn’t even realized what had happened. He was unaware of the impact. Feel a metaphor coming on?
Without getting all Butterfly effect-y here, every action we take has repercussions…some positive and some negative, some intentional and some accidental. That driver had no clue of his impact on the squirrel (and any family waiting back in the nest), then on my daughter, then on her daycare mates, then on me, then on my clients, then on you…and so on. It was purely accidental.
So what would happen, what COULD happen, if we applied this to the positive…that we took great pains to be conscious, at every turn, to spread the good stuff and ONLY the good stuff around? Blissful karma…viral karma. We're not always going to get it right....but we can sure as hell try.
As I dropped my girl off, she turned to me and said: “Let’s always be careful to never hurt a squirrel and be nice to everyone, ok Mommy?”
Out of the mouth of babes.