I saw the most amazing act of human compassion today. I was at a busy intersection which had four lanes in each direction. I was waiting for the light to turn green while traffic was still moving in the other direction. All of a sudden I saw this little guy trying to cross the street and trying to avoid vehicles. My heart stopped and I held my breath. I couldn’t move and I was frozen. I was praying he would make it to the other side. I was shouting out “Hurry, run run”. He was scared and panicking and didn’t know what to do. He was going back-and-forth nervous that he was going to get hit. I couldn’t imagine how scared he was trying to dodge cars. All of a sudden one car stopped, then another, then a third car stopped and when my light turned green nobody moved. Within a few seconds all lanes in that whole intersection were stopped waiting for this little guy to cross the street. It was pretty unbelievable.
That’s when my heart started beating again, because at first, I thought this poor little chipmunk wasn’t going to make it. That’s also when I realized that perhaps our natural inherent state is a compassionate one, whether it be to other humans or to animals.
Perhaps that is why most people who eat meat, can never kill their own dinner. They couldn’t bear to do it. They rely on factory farms or others to bring the dead meat to the kitchen instead.
Today one little chipmunk stopped traffic in a busy intersection for about a minute until he was safely across the street. Each person sitting in their car made a free will choice to care. Somehow the chipmunk crossing the street became more important at that moment than getting to work on time, dropping the kids off at summer school or getting to a yoga class or whatever other busy work we do in our hectic lives. This little guy was no bigger than a mouse, so everyone had to look very carefully to see him. There was nobody waiving the cars to stop. It just happened.
It’s amazing how much power a little animal can have over us humans. May we all be so fortunate to be touched by an animal in our lives.
This is not the actual guy but he was just as tiny.