I was working in my office the other day when I heard all this scrappling outside so I went to investigate. Two squirrels were having a very physical argument and, though it was mating season, this had nothing to do with procreation. It was a bullying and I noticed the one smaller squirrel could never right itself when it was rolled over by the other. It didn’t take long to the see the problem.
This unfortunate little guy must have been hit by a car because his pelvis didn’t line up with the rest of him, off to one side a bit and he seemed to be having trouble seeing out of one eye. He would lift his head very high and cock it at a peculiar angle to get a visual.
So, I asked the other squirrel to show a little kindness and leave him be but he wasn’t sure that was the thing to do and we had to talk a bit until he left saying over and over again, ‘He’s not right! He’s not right!’ Well, yes, but we can’t all be perfect, can we?
After he caught his breath, the injured squirrel slowly made his way up a nearby tree, resting every few feet, knowing I was not a threat and I put some top grade seeds out near the bottom. I started doing that every day, hopefully making his time here a tiny bit easier.
Several days later my neighbor crossed the street to let me know, ‘that I was wasting my time. He wouldn’t survive.’
He was wrong of course. When did it become wrong to show a kindness because it seemed the outcome would not change? I stood there a minute and wondered how many times a day we walk past an animal, including humans, and we decide that a kindness will not matter; that it is a waste of time and will have no effect in the big scheme of things.
We all want to change the world into a better place, yes? We think it has to be a huge move, some gigantic wave that is created by thousands of people. But I don’t think it does. It only requires a kindness shown to another. A small thing easily given, like a little bunch of seeds placed in a more accessible place so life becomes one moment less difficult, holding a package while somebody fumbles for a key or listening to that goofy telemarketer and then saying no rather than hanging up on the innocent person on the other end.
Tiny piece by tiny piece we can make a change. And until it all comes to fruition, at least in this little corner of the world one injured squirrel doesn’t have to worry about finding food.