If there is one lesson that a person should learn in their lifetime it is that of compassion. I'm not sure I'm there yet ... but I am trying.
I recently posted a link on Facebook to a video made of a young man who found a baby hummingbird and nursed it back to health. It touched me. For one reason, most of the images we get of teenaged boys is of kids who don't give a damn - which is totally untrue. But the other reason it touched me is for the same reason that any story of true compassion between man and animal or between two different species of animal really touch my heart. Two souls being connected in a mystical fashion - it makes me more than content. And it restores my faith.
This one about the friendship between the dog and the elephant is particularly good. As is the story of Owen and Mzee, the baby hippo and tortoise who bonded. Or the dog who risked his life rescuing kittens from a fire. And I particularly liked the one about the elephant seal who made friends with the woman on the beach.
Actually, there are so many of these stories that I can't list them all here. But why do they touch my heart so? Because these animals, that a lot of people think don't have souls or personalities, are showing such compassion towards people and other beings that they generally don't show compassion towards. It makes me believe that we all have souls - the animals and the people. And that we are all connected if we allow ourselves to be.
Being cruel to other people or animals ends up hurting your own soul more than anything else. Being compassionate helps it grow. I choose growth.