I must ironically admit, I have been struggling to find the words to write this blog. The idea came to me the other night when Lady Allwinky and myself where outside by our pool enjoying good brews and good conversation. As the sky became darker and the pool water glistened, I was distracted by the site of several large bugs struggling to survive in the water. I went to rescue them with my skimmer net, while Lady Allwinky laughed about my compassion for these bugs.
The strange thing is, I would kill one of those bugs without a second thought if it had landed on my arm, or more importantly, near my beer! But, to watch it struggle for life while drowning in my pool, that's a different mind set for me. So, where's the logic in the Art of Living with Compassion and Brutality?
As a child I was intrigued by the struggle of life and death. Perhaps because it was being lived out in my living room watching the Vietnam War on television while my mother was struggling to survive her cancer. I took advantage of any situation to kill, with my gun or bow and arrow, birds, squirrels, etc. Then, one fateful Saturday morning in the woods while quail hunting with my dad, I looked the struggle between life and death square in the eyes of a dying quail. I winged it and it fell into a creek bed. I followed the dogs to find it. It had fallen into the water and was struggling to catch its breath and trying to fly away but couldn't. I picked it up as it flopped around in my hands. I felt compassion and sorrow. That is when my dad caught up with me and said, "Good shot!", while he proceeded to wring off the quails head to end its struggle. That is the last time I went quail hunting.
I do believe that there is a time to kill; after all, I did enjoy eating that quail prepared by my mother's loving hands. So, where do we draw the line between compassion and brutality? Perhaps the compassion in killing comes with making sure you do it efficiently, otherwise you're left dealing with compassion to save what you just tried to kill. It's an age old question with no easy answers. So, the struggle continues.
Sir Hook "The Brutally Compassionate" of Warrick