In my residence, there were always some birds trying to build nests. Initially we didn’t mind having them around. But later on, they continue to appear more and more. They started to make our windows dirty and smelly. As much as we wanted to hear them sing, we needed them to return to nature. There were plenty of trees outside but we couldn’t just simply yell at them and say “Hey, go back to the trees, will you”? They wouldn’t understand.
One day, a monk had an idea of putting some rubber snakes to scare the birds away. This is the same principle as having a scarecrow around to scare crows. Not everyone (including myself) was properly informed when the monk placed the snakes around. One night, I returned to my room and was scared to death seeing a rubber snake on top of my bathroom window! My heart stopped and then started racing with the speed of light. After a couple of seconds, I realized that it was not a real snake. I squeezed my eyes and found out that someone had put it there. I thought to myself “Did someone try to pull a prank on me?” I kept wondering and later found out that it was there on purpose. And I had to be OK with it … for the sake of the whole community.
I have lived with the snake ever since. Even though I know that it’s not real, I didn’t want to have it in my sight. Every single day, I kept telling myself that the rubber creature wouldn’t come to life. For few weeks, I kept calm and lived with it.
A humble reflection
I thought to myself that this was perhaps something we need to face in our daily situations. There are some things that we don’t like but we have to face them every day. We have to encounter things we don’t want to see, smell, hear, taste, and feel. We can’t just simply avoid these obstacles. If we learn to understand that these things can’t harm us, then our lives will be much happier. In my case, I came to a realization that the snakes wouldn’t come to life to harm me. In many situations we tend to worry too much, even though things have yet to happen. We have to ask ourselves, “Are we worrying too much? Are they really harmful? Are we going to die if we see them around?” We might have to adjust if the answer is “Yes, they are harmful.” But most of the time the answer is “No, they can’t affect our lives at all.”
When I take my mind off the snake, I could live happier. The snake is still there, but it cannot do anything to me … no more. If you can endure the things you don’t like and keep your mind away from those things, then they cannot harm you.
Life is tough. The world is cruel … but we can still enjoy the tiny bit of peace … from viewing a different perspective of life.