It barely feels like a year has passed since I joined the 1000 Voices for Compassion. I am proud to be one of the original 1000 bloggers involved in this movement. I thoroughly enjoyed contributing my posts A Starfish Story and A Mother’s Wish, and reading the many beautiful posts from bloggers around the world.
The 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion movement was born when blogger and author Yvonne Spence organized over 1000 bloggers to post about compassion in one epic event on February 20, 2015. The response was so great that it was decided to continue the #1000Speak project on a monthly basis, with a different topic each month. Whatever the topic, my social media has been flooded with stories of happiness, kindness, hope, caring and compassion.
Inspiration in unusual places
I was browsing round looking for inspiration for this year’s anniversary post and I came across an amazing video. It shows an injured wild dolphin approaching divers for help. The trust shown by a wild creature and the sensitivity of the diver who carefully snipped the tangle of fishing line from its mouth and fin, was uplifting to watch. I found the footage very moving, anyway, watch for yourself and I challenge you not to smile.
This story is amazing and it reminded me of a little rescue we did, not quite so spectacular or exotic but special nonetheless to my little girls. It was a cold wintery day and icy winds were blowing the plant pots round the garden. I went out to retrieve them with my daughter and as I picked one up, something rolled off onto my finger. I went to brush it off, expecting a spider but found instead a small bee. It looked dead, brown and shrivelled, yet I could feel its tiny feet clinging to my finger. I looked at it closely and it slowly looked up at me. I remembered an RSPB article I’d read about how to revive tired bees, my daughter and I decided we’d try to help this little one.
I held the bee and directed my daughter to mix a small amount of sugar and water in an egg cup. I dotted a drip of the sweet syrup onto my finger in front of the tired bee and immediately it started to feed. We watched, transfixed as the dishevelled creature, swelled and fluffed out it’s fur. The bee gained in strength, I could feel the grip on my finger grow tighter with every drop of sugar water it consumed. My daughter wanted to stroke it, she did so gently and the bee allowed her to. After a little while we placed it in a sheltered spot, shielded from the winds, and poured the rest of the sugar water into a leaf. Within an hour it flew off, around the hedge and into the safety of the ivy bush.
From humble beginnings
My own childhood was filled with such moments, our farmhouse became a refuge for a mad menagerie of injured and unwanted animals. We gained a reputation in the area and people would bring all sorts of creatures to be cared for. Our family grew to include a gaggle of geese, a random selection of hens and ducks, hedgehogs, rabbits, a pot-bellied pig, two naughty goats and my favourite, a crow (they each have their own story to tell). Caring for these creatures as a child has instilled in me a set of values I’ve carried through to adult life. I am now bringing up my children to care about the little things. So it was only a bee, not a majestic dolphin but our actions made a difference to that little bee. It was no great rescue but nevertheless it made me smile and my daughter was proud to have saved its life.
Learning about compassion starts with the small things, reviving a bee or moving a baby snail off the path so it doesn’t get trodden on. These little acts of kindness help to build up values in children that all life is precious. All lessons have to start somewhere and maybe, hopefully, my girls will grow up to be the type of adults who rescue dolphins and make a big difference in the world.