Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A Thoughtless Act Gets Me Thinking.

This morning quite early I was standing before the toilet bowl. I don't remember why. Oh yes, that's it, I was having a pee! Anyway, that's not important. Actually I say that's not important, but when you get to my age, it does take on a greater importance than it used to in my youth. Well, for a start, you have to stand there a lot longer just waiting for things to happen. Even if you are almost bursting it seems that nature likes to play its little jokes on us older folk and restrict the flow until the pain is almost, but not quite, unbearable. Then a bit of relief, then a break, then a bit more relief. The whole rigmorale takes ages and on a cold morning is not even slightly amusing. Although I will admit that it might amuse any onlookers. Not that I have any onlookers. Of course when I was a boy there were onlookers. Me and my mates used to have competitions to see who could pee the highest. I am proud to say that I did win occasionally. Today? I doubt if I could win a dribbling contest! But hey! Enough! Let me move on from this unsavoury subject.
As I was saying before I went off on my revelry. As I stood there beside the porcelain borehole, I noticed an earwig trying to clamber from the water and attempt to scale the slippery side of the bowl. He was of course unsuccessful. I'm sure me giving him an extra little sprinkling didn't help either, and after observing his valiant efforts for a minute or two, I flushed the toilet and watched him spiral to his death. After washing my hands, which apparently one should always do after using the facilities, I left the bathroom and decided to have some breakfast.
The guilt set in as I waited for the toast to burn. Why did I flush the earwig away? Why did that poor earwig have to die? If it had been a butterfly struggling in the water I would have rescued it, or a ladybird, or a bumble bee, or even a spider. There is no doubt that I would have come to it's aid. No doubt at all.
I am ashamed of myself. I will tell you why as I dry my tears, and scrape the carbon from my toast.
That earwig had to die, because, and here I try to hold back my self loathing. It had to die because it was ugly! There! I've said it! I have admitted here in black and white -all right then, brown and white- that I make decisions, based on looks. Not just on insects either. I do it with people too. Good job the toilet isn't a bit bigger. I might be tempted to flush away a few. But wait! Isn't that true of us all? Or at least a whole lot of us. Aren't most of us guilty of being judgemental about appearances sometimes? Who would you be attracted to first? Would it be the person with the happy smiling open countenance, or the surly downcast looks of another? Human nature provides the answer. We cannot help but respond to the happy smile and we instinctively neglect the frown. But we do this at our peril, and should remember that the evil assassin easily hides his true intent with a smile.
That earwig has given me food for thought. From this day on, I shall take time to get to know those who may not conform to the "norm". I will base my opinions, not on the shape of a persons face or the contours of their body, but on the content of their heart. Or at least I will try to. Can't really do better than that. I am only human after all is said and done.
Did you know that the earwig is a very beneficial insect to have in the garden? It's true. Go and google earwig. You'll be impressed.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and inspect the manhole. With a bit of luck, that earwig might have managed to hang on to something. I may be able to save him. Give him a hot bath and a bit of burnt toast. Who knows we might even become good friends. Unlikely though, no one likes to be pissed on. That is unforgiveable.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I noticed you signed on as a friend at Nature Center Magazine. I am one of the writers for the magazine. Anyway, your post reminded me of something my mother used to say. "If there is a weirdo anywhere around, I can count on at least one of my kids to bring it home!" I explained to her that she always encouraged us to meet interesting people and wierdos are the most interesting. I have to admit that there were at times a rather odd collection of people at our house. My rather long point is that often there is so much beneath the surface if you can just squint a little to get past the outside.