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Thread: Savior of Crickets

  1. #1

    Savior of Crickets

    A few months ago I overheard a co-worker making a statement about how if he saw a fly or another insect around he'd squash it without a second thought.

    So I turned to him and looked him dead in the eye and said , " Not while I'm here you won't." Told him now i'd have to keep an eye on him to make sure that didn't happen. Pretty much told him to live life by his values but i'd do what I had to do and considered it offensive. He asked if that meant I'd fight him over it. I said if I asked him not to and he kept trying i'd do my best to prevent him. I wouldn't think to fight him but if he hit me first, yeah i'd fight him. Let him know that I don't see any point in senseless killing just because people have some problem. It was a life and it was sacred and worth losing a job over.

    A few days later he captured an insect of some form in a cup and escorted it outside. He wanted me to be aware that instead of killing it he was gonna save it. So I smiled and thanked him and told him I really appreciated that. The general manager overheard the convo and was asking what we were talking about.

    I gave him the quick version saying " I asked him not to kill insects in my pressence."

    So my boss asked, " Oh you don't like that do ya? "

    I responded with " No, I preferr folks don't do that."

    A few minutes later the same manager calls me back to the back room where we do the prep work in the morning and right in front of my stomps on a cricket that was just sittin there in the middle of the floor and literally doused it with bug killer.

    So I took a deep breath and said " Wow! You're gigantic dickhead and I can't believe you called me back here to show me that you asshole. That was completely unneccesary. On the plus side I don't have to work the rest of my shift because now I can just go home and sue you for being religiously offensive in the workplace. That's far cooler than working." said it all matter of factly like the joke was on him.

    Keep in mind this was with one of the other managers standing right next to him.She promptly turned with the " Uh-oh" face as her eyes got bigger.

    He looked confused and said " What do you mean sue on religious grounds ? " so I told him " Well we've discussed many times that I used to follow the way of Shamanism and am currently studying and learning about the Way of Zen. So take your pick I can explain it in court perfectly clearly."

    So he apologized and said he didn't realize I was so serious about it . Later on he asked why exactly it was such a big deal. So I explained to him that there was no point in taking the life of anything, it would have taken a whole two minutes to scoop him up and get him outside.

    I informed him that my understanding is that the taking of the life generates the greatest amount of bad karma, the saving of a life generates the greatest amount of good karma. I was looking to save lives not kill them. He was free to do whatever but it was a big deal to me and that I preferred if he opted to kill them ( or anyone else that worked there for that matter) I didn't want to know anything about it.

    I told him I wasn't impractical about it. In a restaurant setting there are health regulations to follow and an infestation is different from a few here and there that stay out of the food and can be escorted to the grass. I let him know of a roach infestation in my wife and I's home due to some nasty junkies that lived next to us. We tried every other solution first, finally we had to just bust out the poison. They can carry disease. We had to worry about our pets with roaches in their food. Being bitten while sleeping ( which did happen). And I hated to do it but couldn't find another option. They were driving us crazy ( it wasn't like the old movie Joe's Apartment. But when you see 8-14 in a day at various points, that's a serious issue).

    So we peacefully parted back to work after the short convo.

    Last week, I was sitting outside before my shift started in the morning. Boss didn't know I was even there ( was one of the days I was cheating on cigs) and I see him come outside with a cup and he let a cricket loose outside then turned around and saw me and was like " Oh hey, Fisher. Just for you I saved this one." so I thanked him very much for it.

    Today the same boss cracked a joke about a retarded employee ( distasteful but our sense of humor in the workplace usually is..it wasn't meant in seriousness and the employee wasn't there) I was like OMG Brian. Your Karma man.. Come onnnn. At which point he hung his head a little and got defensive and said "Speaking of Karma I want you to know over the last two days I have saved twelve crickets from my house."

    Keep in mind, my boss is an atheist.

    My response was "Someone feeling a little guilty?" and laughed at him.Then told him it was really cool he thought to do that.

    Just wanted to share.

    Dave _/_

  2. #2
    Myoshin
    Guest

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    Nice story... really cool to see that your boss started to act on his own accord about saving bugs.

    The story kinda reminded me of my own faults when it comes to insects and arachnids. I save most of the ones I find, even... the... spiders *shudders*. But there are times I react when outside or when walking around campus and a bug lands on my arm I still swat at the bug, in the process sometimes killing the little thing. Then I feel guilty and apologize silently. But it kinda reminds me of the Dalai Lama on a video I saw not too long ago. Here is the link if interested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W083nSzx1Rc[/video]]

    Gassho,
    Kyle

  3. #3

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    I definitely have moments of an instinctual smacking. Bad habit. But I feel there is a big difference when one is completely concious of it. and like you I feel horrid when I do it. chastise myself. And over time have caught myself mid swat.

    Will take a peek at the video soon. dunno how much time I have today for it. But thanks for the link.

    Dave _/_

  4. #4

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    Great story Dave, Thank you for sharing it! I am the resident bug bouncer at work. I save em all but this one unfortunate ear wig (the EEK factor X3 when you find one under your phone receiver dealy when you pick it up...). That said im not sure how i would have handled myself in your shoes, in that situation, but they way you did made me grin - . Instinctual smacking happens. I try to remember to brush or blow off the invader. Doesnt always happen ops:

    Gassho
    Shohei

  5. #5

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    I feel your pain. My wife gets all bent out of shape when I make a special effort to put the little buggers out doors.

    That being said: we were being invaded by houseflies recently and I went on a killing spree.
    Fact it: It's nearly impossible to capture those bastards and keep them alive.

    I occasionally feel guilty but you also have to remember that it is nearly impossible NOT to live without killing.

    I read somewhere that in Zen we have to look at the precepts from three angles:
    1) Don't kill
    2) It's impossible NOT to kill (you kill a plant to eat it, you kill microbes when you breathe, you kill bacteria when you take anti-biotics, etc.)
    3) There is no birth and no death so who dies and who kills?

    So for me, personally, if I can remove a pest without killing it, I do.
    For example, recently we had some sort of animal in our crawlspace at work. I purchased and set up a raccoon trap.
    The next day, I caught a gigantic feral cat. Took it up to my father in law's ranch where he cares for all the strays and turned it loose.
    That's making a special effort to preserve life. I think people should do that when it's reasonable.

    On the other side, as I mentioned, I went nutzoid and massacred about 40 flies in our garage last week in an orgy of killing.
    Could I have successfully gotten them out of the garage without letting MORE in? Not likely.
    And I wasn't going to live in the "Amityville Horror" house either!
    Finally, my wife specifically asked me to kill the damn things because we were having people over.
    So what do you do?
    Depends on the situation.
    Kill if you must but be ready to bear the karmic fruits of your actions.

    On the extreme other end of the spectrum, my father killed in the Korean War many years ago.
    He shot across the battlefield as did many of his troop mates and that's one thing, but he also killed three men in hand to hand combat.
    Two with a garotte and one with a bayonet to the base of the skull. He says he can still see their faces.
    He's 78 now and active in his Baptist church. He has spoken at length about this to his pastor and by all accounts, he's come to terms with what he did. Will God forgive him? Who can say?
    I would venture to guess yes but maybe that's my ego talking.
    And if there is no heavenly father, then the "hell" of having killed those men has already been experienced by my old man so I'd say he's suffered the fruits of his actions. I just hope he's forgiven himself.
    "There but for the sake of God go I," right?

    Food for thought anyway.
    Gassho,
    -K2

  6. #6

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    What do we tell Nansen?

    :shock:

  7. #7

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    He's an asshole for cutting a cat in half?

    Dave _/_

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    Is it and not it.

    _/_

  10. #10

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    *sits upside down in a chair* Did I ever mention I like cookies, Dave ? 8)

    Will -/-

  11. #11

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    *sits upside down in a chair* Did I ever mention I like cookies, Dave ? 8)

    Will -/-
    No "Dharma Combat" around here, please, Dave and Will. Just sit in your chair and eat your cookies.

    I think that wrestling a bit with the "Precept on Avoiding the Taking of Life" during Jukai study will be very worthwhile for you, Dave.

    The Dalai Lama story is worthwhile ... as is this story from when Treeleaf Tsukuba (a wooden building joined without nails) was infested with termites ...

    viewtopic.php?p=21077#p21077

    I also try to trap any insects we find in the house and let them free outside. Sometimes, though, when a wasp or the like is buzzing around my son ... and won't take a hint ... SLAP!

    But perhaps we can hold off detailed discussion of these issues until we start our Precepts study discussion group in a few days ... otherwise, we might have nothing to talk about!

    Gassho, Jundo

  12. #12

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    Dharma combat? No no . For me that would be like going up to Mike Tyson and telling him I could box better.I'm the one that doesn't know what i'm talking about.

    I have some ideas on the shoe on the head response Nansen was later given.But all in all i'm like " uhh what was that supposed to mean."

    I didn't know where he was going with it, so I just chose to be nonsensical in a manner where it looked like i might have some wisdom. All in fun I promise.

    Dave _/_

  13. #13

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    Here's one for ya- I went a step beyond not killing the spiders I'm freaked out by, and bought a tarantula. I have not held her yet (which my 13 yr old finds endlessly sissified) but I will. I will...

    gassho
    tobi

  14. #14

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    Tobi, sweeeet! My lil bro couldn't get me to hold is. I was like uhhhh, looks perfectly cool in the aquarium. Can I play with the gecko?

    Dave _/_

  15. #15

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    everything wants to live

    I see what happens when my immune system isn't all it needs to be


    to be alive means I am sustaining myself by the destruction and reassembling of parts of other things into the temporarily organized collective of cellular material I call me

    This goes on all the time, everywhere

    I brush my teeth, I gargle, I rub my hand over my arm: killing millions, millions. This doesn't stop me from using mouthwash or soap.

    Yet I don't use clorox to get my kitchen sink whitewhite. I let things co-exist in the pipes.

    As far as insects go--the situation itself determines my response. I couldn't tell you right now what it would be.
    In that moment without a second thought there is action--carnage or relocation. I offer apologies in either case.

  16. #16

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    I kept out of this topic as I too have a tarantula (Paraplysa Parvula) which eats live crickets :shock: :roll:
    Think I'll save that for the Precepts study :?

    tobi, what type did you get and what age and sex? Any photos?

    Gassho

    Undo

  17. #17

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    undo..that's not killing to kill because something is an inconvenience, that's nature. : )

  18. #18
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    I kill all stinging insects on sight - I'm allergic to bee stings and every time I'm stung, it gets worse.

    Here's the thing - it's a little self-righteous to make other people honor your hang-ups. It's a big part of why Sidd didn't make monks vegetarian. You take what you are given. It goes that way with people too - at least as far as insects and hunting goes, IMHO.

    It might be better for your practice to learn how to tolerate others who don't respect your moral peccadillos.

    YMMV, IANAT

    Chet

  19. #19

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    There is definitely value in that , Chet. My point is more that they respect me by not doing it in front of me. I did tell them all the choices they make are up to them. My Boss is apparently still liberating crickets. LOL. But I told him that was all his choice, though I like the idea of it.

    But me asking them not to do it in front of me, isn't the same as me telling them stop. I did mention to both I don't expect either one of them to NOT kill them.Just asked for it to not be done in my pressence or to feel the need to tell me all about it. To be mad at them for doing it would mean i'd have to be pretty pissed off at the vast majority of Planet Earth.

    It's kinda like telling dead baby jokes. Some laugh..some just say ewww. And others are completely and utterly offended. If someone communicates they are offended it's pretty inconsiderate to tap them on the shoulder and tell them one. Or to tell one when they are around.

    I once worked with a young lady who didn't care for profanity or lewd humor. So we all tried to be considerate when speaking with her or when she was around. However, she had a horrid tendency to walk up in the middle of a conversation and expect to be immediately incorporated and for everyone to just drop whatever convo they were having if the topic was distasteful to her. Would get all cranky if they didn't. But then didn't care about anyone else's sensibilities and would tell folks to "get over it, if they didn't like it."

    We spray for bugs everyday and I don't say a word or ask them to stop, or glare at them. Though it's agreed upon by all that the stuff smells horrid. And no requests in regards to them being more considerate of the employees health since we all may as well stick our head in a bag and huff it as much as they use.

    Dave _/_

  20. #20
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    There is definitely value in that , Chet. My point is more that they respect me by not doing it in front of me. I did tell them all the choices they make are up to them. My Boss is apparently still liberating crickets. LOL. But I told him that was all his choice, though I like the idea of it.

    But me asking them not to do it in front of me, isn't the same as me telling them stop. I did mention to both I don't expect either one of them to NOT kill them.Just asked for it to not be done in my pressence or to feel the need to tell me all about it. To be mad at them for doing it would mean i'd have to be pretty pissed off at the vast majority of Planet Earth.

    It's kinda like telling dead baby jokes. Some laugh..some just say ewww. And others are completely and utterly offended. If someone communicates they are offended it's pretty inconsiderate to tap them on the shoulder and tell them one. Or to tell one when they are around.

    I once worked with a young lady who didn't care for profanity or lewd humor. So we all tried to be considerate when speaking with her or when she was around. However, she had a horrid tendency to walk up in the middle of a conversation and expect to be immediately incorporated and for everyone to just drop whatever convo they were having if the topic was distasteful to her. Would get all cranky if they didn't. But then didn't care about anyone else's sensibilities and would tell folks to "get over it, if they didn't like it."

    We spray for bugs everyday and I don't say a word or ask them to stop, or glare at them. Though it's agreed upon by all that the stuff smells horrid. And no requests in regards to them being more considerate of the employees health since we all may as well stick our head in a bag and huff it as much as they use.

    Dave _/_
    Ah then, I just misread your intentions.

    If you think restaurants are chemical factories, you should see hospitals! We've all gotta follow health codes. Oddly enough though, I used to get really miffed when the gym in San Antonio would have its staff mop the bathroom floors with so much bleach. People are very strange, and I am people.

    I remember when I was new to Zen, how many self-righteous mistakes I made. I wouldn't let my live-in girlfriends cook meat in the house. I refused to own or let a TV into my house. I was a real bastard, I guess is the point. I was trying to be a good Buddhist and felt I had to bring everyone else along for the ride, LOL!

    Chet

  21. #21

    Re: Savior of Crickets

    I've caught myself in the self righteousness trap here and there. If I feel like i'm being preachy I shut up and apologize. Usually though it's more of simply a thought of " i just don't understand what is so hard to grasp or how what i said is even debateable..what a dumba...oh my ,look i fell into a trap , let them be them."

    Dave _/_

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