During my morning stroll through Facebook, I came upon the following story, posted by Upworthy. As I read it, I began to think about how important and uplifting it is when we can adapt to adversity, change, or unexpected developments with new, creative, and compassionate responses. Here’s what I read on FB:
“My dad has a massive vegetable garden and it is his life. Whenever I ask how things are going, he tells me about the garden. Periodically he will text me a picture of the things he’s harvested and ask when I’m coming to pick them up. And for a while, the biggest bit of garden gossip has been his nemesis, the gopher. This gopher was consistently ruining his day by pilfering the best of everything just before my dad could harvest it. Anytime I talked to him, all he had to tell me about was ‘that damned gopher.’ He dreamt about killing the gopher, his truest enemy. He tried to train the dog to hunt the gopher, but the dog is a pacifist. He led some of the barn cats to the holes, but the barn cats have unionized and refused his offered rate. He then laid no-kill traps (can’t risk having poison near the crops) with eventual gophercide in mind, but then suddenly he was faced with a cute and terrified animal and didn’t have the heart. He released it. ‘He was SO scared, he’ll never come back.’ The gopher was back the next day, with a vengeance. That was some weeks ago. Today, my dad sent me pictures of his garden, and I saw a squash gently laid by the gopher’s hole, like a package left on the doorstep. I said ‘Dad, what’s that squash doing there by the gopher hole?’ He said ‘Oh, he likes squash best.’ In an effort to appease the gopher, my father now gives him a little squash everyday, like leaving an offering for a garden spirit. This apparently works well as a compromise; the gopher has stopped stealing, content to have his meals delivered to his door.” Originally posted on FB by filmnoirsbian.
Notice your response to reading this story and, in particular, notice the response of your heart-based awareness. Next, imagine how your life would be, or how our collective life would be, if we all could arrive at this kind of resolution. In the story above, a response that embraced collaboration rather than combat arose, with some compassion thrown in.
This story reminds me of the inescapable fact that we live on a planet that thrives on cooperation and active collaboration. For sure, there’s also competition but as Elisabet Sahtouris, the evolutionary biologist found, while young species may emphasize competition, more mature species move toward expressions of cooperation and collaboration.
Read More “898th Week: Adapting with Compassion“