Survivalist Woes

Well, this is mostly just an attempt to get this off my chest, so to all whom read it, sorry.

I was walking back home from work one day, and quite close to my house I saw this tiny little baby bird. It was so small, and it blended into the pavement quite well so I nearly missed it completely. I looked around a bit to see if there was a nest nearby, or maybe its parents were around, but nope. Nobody. I guess I felt a little bit out of my element, and so I wasn’t really sure if I should just keep going, or pick up the baby bird and do something with it. Like most people of this generation, I consulted the internet. And apparently what I found is called a “fledgling”, and they generally are at an age where they try to fly, but are still quite bad at it so they tend to just hang around the ground for quite a while. On top of that, apparently sometimes taking these little guys elsewhere can be considered “kidnapping” because their parents are essentially nearby and are just letting them practice.

So for whatever reason, I decided that it would be best to leave it alone completely, and I went on my way. This was a mistake. For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about that little bird, and when I went out to check on him again, basically the worst thing that I could’ve imagined happened.

I blame myself mostly, but the little bird was sitting up against the curb on the street. So my neighbor, who pulled out probably not 20 minutes after I discovered the fledgling, ran him over and killed him.

What am I supposed to take from this outcome? That this is the price of inaction? Maybe. But what saddens me most is just how relatable this little instance is. Many times I feel like so many bad things happen to me personally and others around me- not because of malice, but rather because of a lack of awareness by others, or a lack of consideration. But at the same time, that’s just the way that everyone is designed – nobody looks left and right when they’re trying to move forward. Who cares who they cut off?

But I also despise that kind of rationalization that people evoke whenever confronted with their egocentric or survivalist tendencies. “It’s just the way things are”, they say, “it’s you or them”. Maybe it is, but is that the solution to it? Shrugging it off and moving on?  And if you decide that you cannot accept apathy as a solution, what do you do? The vegetarians and vegans perhaps prevent themselves from being accountable for others’ suffering, but they do not actually prevent it from happening. And even if EVERYONE would become vegan, that would still not prevent that special type of cruelty that nature provides.

Perhaps this uncomfortable dread is something everyone goes through and at some point decides to either stop listening to it, or let it guide their life. Perhaps nobody ever really knows at any point what to do it about it, and getting through life is just a matter of remaining in a sort of grey zone until you finally kick the bucket and don’t have to play this terrible game anymore. I suppose the optimistic people, which I would like to listen to the most, say that – Yes, life is full of cruel and awful stuff, but the only thing you can do is attempt to do as much good as you can, and value those good deeds. And that will guide you out of misery. I guess I am just curious to see how this sort of empathy of mine will develop over time, for instance I have noticed that as time goes by I find it more and more difficult to kill cockroaches, because gross as they are, I guess I can relate to their tiny struggle for life.

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