Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget… another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
If we help someone without expecting anything in return, the simple act of kindness is not wasted. And there may come a time when that act of kindness can be repaid in unexpected ways. We can make a very loyal friend by being kind and selfless.
Aesop was fond of this notion, and used it in the fable of Androcles and the Lion, and also the Mouse and the Lion.
A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled
to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a
Lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee,
but finding that the Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and
went up to him. As he came near, the Lion put out his paw, which
was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge
thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled
out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able
to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the Lion
took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat
from which to live. But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the
Lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to
the Lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several
days. The Emperor and all his Court came to see the spectacle,
and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the
Lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring
towards his victim. But as soon as he came near to Androcles he
recognised his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands
like a friendly dog. The Emperor, surprised at this, summoned
Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon the
slave was pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native
Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
The Lion and the Mouse
A LION was awakened from sleep by a Mouse running over his
face. Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill
him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying: “If you
would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your
kindness.” The Lion laughed and let him go. It happened
shortly after this that the Lion was caught by some hunters,
who bound him by strong ropes to the ground. The Mouse,
recognizing his roar, came and gnawed the rope with his teeth
and set him free, exclaiming:
“You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you,
expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; now
you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to con benefits
on a Lion.”
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted – Aesop.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses” says Alphonse Karr.
What this is telling us, is that we can choose to see the positive side of something, rather than to focus on the negative.
Artwork: Plinio Nomellini (1866–1943)
You are Life passing through your body, passing through your mind, passing through your soul. Once you find that out, not with logic, not with the intellect, but because you can feel that Life, you find out that you are the force that makes the flowers open and close, that makes the hummingbird fly from flower to flower. You find out that you are in every tree, and you are in every animal, vegetable, and rock.
You are that force that moves the wind and breathes through your body. The whole universe is a living being that is moved by that force, and that is what you are. You are Life.
— Don Miguel Ruiz
photos Karl Blossfeldt
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