Gaddafi and the Centipede

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House Centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata

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The centipede and  I had long coexisted, although we often startled each other in the bathroom at night. But this morning, as soon as  I turned on the shower, I noticed him, clinging to the shower tile. Appealing as a hot shower was to me, Brother Centipede was  clearly unnerved by the idea. I hadn't slept well, concerned about the earthquake in Japan, possible nuclear reactor meltdowns and Gaddafi's atrocities in Libya--and now there was a centipede rescue emergency.
I turned off the shower and stood, damp and shivering, trying to think of  a  strategy that would work for both of us. I held out a sponge. To my surprise, the centipede accepted the rescue offer, sitting obediently on his damp raft until I dropped him off close to the dryer,  a favourite hideout for my arthropod room-mate. For today, tragedy was averted in Alandi Ashram and all residents were safe.
The love and care extended to the centipede contrasted starkly in my mind with the cruelty and callous disregard Gaddafi was showing towards Libya's protesters. If the very idea of a centipede getting wet was unbearable for me, no wonder I couldn't sleep thinking of children being killed in Libya. It is a sad fact that the whole world would be a better place if we could all extend to our fellow humans around the world the measure of tolerance and care that one little centipede received--the chance to live in peace in his own way, full autonomy over his life--and a helping hand in time of need.



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    This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on March 12, 2011 10:41 PM.

    You Cannot make Peace with a Sword was the previous entry in this blog.

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