Thursday, May 1, 2014

Intelligence or Apathy...?

Saw a baby tortoise/turtle crossing the ramp entering 288-N while driving back from work today evening. From a distance, it looked like a piece of tire or a stone but realized what it actually was when I was barely a foot away from it. Luckily it was in the middle of the lane so my tires didn't run over it.

The poor thing may have been lost and was probably looking to return home.. and the direction was headed, it didn't seem to be doing the right thing - it was crawling in the direction of the highway, and in its world, the other side of the road was 100 miles away. God knows how many cars would pass by at that rush hour and which car would have run over that unfortunate soul. 

I've seen squirrels, rabbits, birds, deer and other animals dead on a highway because of their stupidity or confusion, but this guy would go out of its slowness. Slowness that it didn't choose for itself but "was born with." as a result of its past lives.

It is true that it was its karma, but indeed a sorry life and undeserving and unfortunate end. As intelligent human beings and practising yogis, one may accept the tragedy but as a sympathetic soul, how can I sleep at night knowing I could not stop in the middle of that ramp at 60 mph to save that little guy? I'm now torn between empathy and intelligent action - which I'm now not so sure if it indeed was intelligent - is it fair to run over a mute animal in order to not risk your life and those of fellow human beings? 

Do I need to perform penance, and if so, how? That guy is long gone by now! And what from practical purposes, should I do to "fix" this? Certainly this cannot be accepted as God's will! Or can it?

Am I being realistic by assuming its death? Or too skeptical?

Torn between being a intelligent human and a heartbroken soul that couldn't not do anything to help it. Torn between feeling sorry about its fate and grateful to not have done it myself.

I'm reminded of the story of the hare and the tortoise, that "slow and steady wins the race." Well, maybe sometimes not.

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