Our Princess came in from reading her science book yesterday afternoon. She was quite upset.
“Mama, do you know why the pond down there isn’t running over with fish?!” she asked, referring to a fun fishing pond we’ve visited a couple of times. “Do you know? It’s BECAUSE THE FISH ARE DYING!”
Sometimes I cannot keep up with the trails her mind runs down.
“Ummm, okay? And why are the fish dying?”
“See, it says right here.” She held out her book. “Fish have a protective layer on their scales that protect them from bacteria and bad stuff in the water. When people catch them and touch them, even if it’s so they can release them back into the water, those fish are likely TO DIE BECAUSE THEY’VE LOST PART OF THEIR PROTECTIVE LAYER!!!!!”
She was really getting wound up now.
She assured me she would no longer have any part of “catch and release”fishing if there was even the tiniest chance she was harming them. “I mean, first of all, there’s a hook in their mouth…..”
I was thinking about that yesterday evening, and it occurred to me how we do this in life. With people. Folks we know and folks we don’t. We have good intentions. No plans to do any harm. We’re just hanging out, enjoying ourselves, living our lives, and we meet folks, spend time with them, and then we return back to our own story. But whether we realize it or not, we touched those folks. And sometimes without intending to, we have left a mark on them that could be harmful.
It could be something we said, something we didn’t say, how we really didn’t acknowledge their presence, how we didn’t see them, or how we made some offhand comment that was said in jest but really hurt. We have the power to hurt without even realizing it. Just in the way we touch someone in a moment.
We also have the power to heal.
I don’t think through the things I say or things I do nearly often enough. My girl reminded me how important that is. Fish are dying, people. So are tender spirits. It’s up to us to make things better.
May we all seek to heal with our touch.
Love to all.