Eugi’s Causerie-Soaring

Your Weekly Prompt – Soaring – March 22, 2022

Michael was lying on a gently sloping hillside in the meadow when he spied a beautiful eagle soaring on the thermals and thought to himself, “How I wish that I could do that.”.

Within moments of his admiring thoughts, the eagle swooped too close to a wind turbine. Thankfully, the bird wasn’t clobbered by the whirling monstrosity but the disturbance it created in the natural airflow caused him to plummet to the ground.
Michael raced to the structure to find the majestic bird dazed and incapable of flight. The eagle was vulnerable lying there among a scattering of bones from less fortunate birds. The frightened eagle floundered and tried to escape, as he would from any would-be predator, when Michael approached.
The young man took off his overshirt and spoke in reassuring low tones to the eagle until the large bird allowed him to gently wrap him in a calming cocoon. It soon became clear to the eagle that he was in no danger.
Michael sat with him once there seemed to be no life-threatening injuries that his new friend had incurred. He decided that the most important purpose, he now had, was to protect the vulnerable bird until he could find his bearings. If the great raptor did not recover in a while, Michael had decided to take him for medical care at a sanctuary.
Then… the compassionate young man talked to the bird… softly and evenly.
After about an hour, the eagle struggled to its feet and Michael removed his shirt. He tested his wings while keep an eye on the man. Then, as suddenly as he’d dropped, the raptor took off.
Michael waved to him as he lifted away from the deadly area and shouted (for the first time), “Good luck big guy!”
The eagle circled Michael. Then he flew off toward the horizon thinking, “How I wish I could do that.”

Eugi’s Weekly Prompt-Compassion- Nov. 25, 2021


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Father And Son Talk About Manhood

“It called compassion son… it is caring about the misfortune of others.”

“I felt really bad when Tanner’s dog died and I cried too. Is that compassion?”

“Exactly son. Compassion is a feeling. And what you do with that feeling is called character. Not everyone has good character, nor do they use their feelings in a ‘good’ way. They think the feeling itself is a virtue but the virtuous person is the one whose actions are just and consistent. When you’re truly compassionate, you do not withhold your kindness from people you don’t like. How about Benny? He’s picked on you and even stolen from you, would you feel bad if his dog died?”

[Long pause] “Well, yeah. It would be just as sad for him. I don’t think he’d let me help to bury him, though, like Tanner did. “

“Well that would be up to him. But offering to help would be the virtuous thing to do whether he accepted or not.”

“I saw a protest on TV last week, Dad. Some people were walking and waving signs THEN others started burning buildings and cars and beating up each other! I felt compassion for those peaceful people, and the people losing their businesses, but I didn’t feel compassion for the others. I didn’t like them! Am I bad for feeling that way?”

“Not at all. I was angry too. There’s a difference between people who “feel wronged” and those who “do wrong”. Doing wrong is not how people, of good character, express themselves. Some people use something good, like a protest, for an excused opportunity to do wrong. They’re ‘bad guys’. You are never expected to condone what bad guys do. Yet, a compassionate person doesn’t want evil things to happen to them. Even when people ‘ask for trouble’ we don’t wish them ill. BUT, it is virtuous to protect the ‘peaceful’ from the ‘bad guys’ any way we can. Allowing people’s homes, and businesses to be destroyed or allowing ‘bad guys’ to harm or kill others, is unconscionable. “

“Is another word for unconscionable, immoral? “

“Yep and men of character should help.”

” What if the bad guys try to hurt me while I’m helping out the others?”

“Then you have the right to defend yourself. It’s part of the law. It’s written in our Constitution. We all have a God given right to life, liberty, and property.”

“I don’t want to hurt people Dad!”

“I know son. It isn’t something anyone with good character wants to do. But ‘bad guys’ don’t often care about who they hurt. A man has to decide who they are if he’s threatened. Your life is precious and must be defended when you’ve exhausted every chance to reason with them or get away. If you end up hurting an attacker, it’ll be hard to live with but it is just. In a perfect world, this would never happen… but guess what?”

“It’s not a perfect world, Dad, and bad guys will always be a part of things.”

“I love you son. Be a ‘good guy’, always. Our world, our country, and our family counts on them.”

“I think I’ll be a policeman one day. Protecting people is a great way to show compassion AND to be a ‘good guy’.

“THAT would make me very proud, son.”

Six Sentence Story- Nosy Neighbor

PROMPT WORD:  SHIFT

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Mildred was about to turn eighty, was recently widowed, and had started a rather lengthy ‘bucket list’ with number eleven written in bold letters: 11. “Tell Lydia exactly what I think of her!”.

Lydia had been Mildred’s widowed neighbor for twenty-five years and a major ‘pain in the ass’ as she was always complaining about how Mildred, and her husband, should live but Mildred’s husband had a philosophy of not ‘making waves’ so Mildred had refrained from any confrontation.

Two of Lydia’s many complaints were requests that they’d barbeque on the other side of their house because of the smell and smoke damage to her drapes AND that they should mow their adjoining lawns on Tuesdays and Saturdays, as she did, to keep the neighborhood looking neat!

Even as Mildred reminded herself of Lydia’s persistent nosiness her fists clenched… “Of all the nerve!”.

As luck, or divine intervention, would have it on the very morning when Mildred had decided to confront Lydia and clear the air ‘once and for all’, she happened upon a newspaper article about teaching ‘difficult kids’ that caused a dramatic shift in her attitude.

It stated, ” The kids who need the most love and understanding often ask for it in the most unlovable ways.”, and Mildred supposed that adults were no different, so, she decided to invite Lydia over for a cocktail -low and behold- instead of serving a long planned ‘tongue lashing’, Mildred made a new friend.



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Ignorance Perpetuates Prejudice

crow
crow (Photo credit: crowdive)

There’s so much outrage these days. Something has stirred up our emotions and I’m at a loss to find one single cause. The overall theme of this simmering pot is misunderstanding with a big helping of mistrust on top. The visible combatants, via our sensationlizing media, in these divisions are claiming the ability to divine the intent of anyone who has a differing opinion. The core element to the outrage seems to be a misguided philosophy that assumes, those who differ, do so from a purely mean-spirited inspiration.

I’d like to offer a true story that helped me to realize that most prejudice comes from ignorance not an evil agenda.
A few years ago, I witnessed one of Nature’s violent “goings on”. I was alerted to a “bird battle” in my back yard by dozens of squawking crows. As I watched the commotion, there was a flailing of wings and seeming screams coming from a gang of large birds on my lawn. One red-tailed hawk emerged from that pile, and flew off, followed by more crows than I could count. My curiosity brought me straight to the, now abandoned, crime scene to discover three dead fledglings on the ground. My human heart was saddened but I returned to my daily routine.
A few hours later, my neighbor had taken up the task of burying the victims and joined me at my doorstep with his tale of the tragedy .
Before I tell you about his understanding of the bird “murders”, I’d like to point out that most people have a small knowledge of birds, and Nature in general. In fact, until my curiosity of natural things had awakened, I was among those folks who could identify only Robins, Crows, Blue Jays and the, occasional, Cardinal. These birds are of the highly visible type that most people come to know. With that commonness , there also comes wide-spread folk-lore about them. Blue Jays are brash and bossy, Robins are sweet, Cardinals are special and Crows are murderers. In fact, a group of crows is referred to as a “murder of crows”. (In defense of crows, they are actually primarily scavengers and highly intelligent to boot. I’m sure, the common place sightings of these fellows eating carrion was the impetus of the “killer” label.)

Now, back to the story:
My kind neighbor broke into a tale of murderous crows who attacked a red-tailed hawk nest, leaving baby hawks littered in our shared yard. It was true that we witnessed the same event but ignorance was there too.

I proceeded to tell him my version. The dead babies were crows. I showed him the straight beak of one of “the fallen”. It was easy to understand his confusion though. Crows are big birds and are about the size of many hawks. The dead babies were very close to leaving the nest, therefore, they were almost full-sized.
My tale continued with the murderous intent shifted to the hawk. By the time I had finished, his sympathy had done a one-eighty. My tale ended with an admiration for the community and brotherhood which had brought so many crows, out of nowhere, to aid in the rescue attempt.

So you see, my neighbor was not being mean-spirited in his inaccuracy. It was his ignorance that perpetuated the prejudice.

I’m hoping this story, inspires you to take a moment to explain yourself when someone has a different opinion and refrain from judging others as mean-spirited. Overall, the most important message, here, is to stay informed and curious.