While having a phone conversation with my mom the other day, she said “Hold on a minute, I’m just putting this little beetle outside”. She didn’t even think twice. I paused at the sweet picture this compassionate action brought to mind. My mom isn’t necessarily fond of bugs, but without hesitation, saw an opportunity to save this little creature. To return it to its natural environment.
By the way, my mom happens to be a florist, so I am very aware of her inclination to see the beauty as well as the purpose in the natural world. There is inclination and opportunity. Not all human beings are hardwired to notice the details, or have compassion for an annoying insect. As research finds, compassion can be learned through practice and our brains can change.
Some of us might be more inclined to look for opportunities to be compassionate, empathetic and kind. If we are not so inclined, then we can work to be more so.
What I do know, is that at every twist and turn there are a myriad of opportunities to pause and act compassionately. Summer in Atlanta reminds us that all of the flowers and bugs need us to strengthen our compassion muscles.
In fact, we have just scheduled an exciting program coming up on September 7th from 12-2 about Caring for Our Mother Earth. Our partners are Shannon Willow Art and the Sierra Club. So, save the date! In the meantime look for opportunities to strengthen those empathy muscles. Plant for pollinators, literally, stop and smell the roses, take your own bags to the store, and of course, gently scoop up that beetle and place her outside.