REVERENCE FOR LIFE

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REVERENCE FOR LIFE

REVERENCE FOR LIFE                                 
Without premeditation I smash the tiny black ant that ambles across the bathroom basin.  He is a lonely and unaccompanied creature.
This reflex action recalled the Albert Schweitzer book I read as an impressionable elementary student concerning the acceptance of all animal life.  His theory of Reverence for Life was summed up in this quote: "Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace." Schweitzer spent most of his life in Africa caring for human animals and all other living animals.
Perhaps his theory is why I had such a variety of pets in my early life.  My room and sometimes the house was inhabited by gerbils, cats, dogs, fish, birds, and whatever creatures I could find under rocks or in streams.
Today I have parrots, turtles, fish, a dog, and some cats around me.  The animals add richness to my life.  The parrots noisily speak to me in words I think I understand.  The dog greets me with a wagging tail and warm watchful glances when I arrive home.  The fish glide along beautifully when I'm relaxing.  The cats entertain with antics only a cat could think up.  One cat even jumps onto my lap to 'help' me while I'm working on the computer.
Next time a see a tiny ant in the house just trying to make his way in the world, I will let him walk on a piece of paper and release him through the door to the wonderful world outside my home.
Roger Keyserling
                                 

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