From The real world ‘kill the mosquitos’

by Venerable Ajhan Summedho

My instincts say, ‘Kill the mosquitoes! They’re a nuisance, they give you malaria. . . . Kill those blasted midges; get rid of them as quickly as possible!’ But then the human side says that they have as much right to be here as I do. Who am I to think that I, somehow, am more important or have more right to breathe and to live my life than midges do? So then from that position, I’m a little kinder, aren’t I? I’m not so quick to destroy that which I don’t like - which bothers me or is a nuisance - and I am much more willing to give it a chance, to try and understand it, to respect it for what it is, even though I may never like it.

I can’t imagine myself ever liking midges - they are just not likeable to humans. But one can accept them for what they are. When you contemplate the amount of irritation they cause, then it’s not that much; one can put up with it, one can bear it - it’s just the way things are. Their lives are as important to them as my life is to me.

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Quotes

A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding.

— Mahatma Gandhi