Compassion

It is something that seems to exist in little quantity throughout most of the world. But thankfully, it exists for me.

About an hour ago, I was lying in bed on the verge of falling asleep when I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. Not knowing what caused it, I turned my nightlight on and realised it was a wasp that stung me.

This is the first time I have been stung (or bitten) by an apocrita (the suborder of insects that includes ants, bees and wasps). To that end, I was unsure if I was allergic to the wasp’s venom. My first reaction was to knock John’s door and ask him if there were any signs of an allergic reaction since this was on the back of my shoulder. I am glad to say that the impact seems to be minimal, and it is not hurting much now. I can also still breathe, so I assume I am not allergic.

When my attention turned back to the wasp, I realised he or she was injured.

My guess is that whilst I was still in the half-sleeping state, I must have tried to remove whatever was pricking me with my fingers. The wasp could not fly, and was trying to flee across my bed. John suggested that I either remove it or kill it.

Killing it was not an option for me. Even if I had an allergic reaction, that would not justify taking fatal action against a creature that was likely threatened by my presence. So even before I went to clean the penetration spot out to ensure no venom was left in that part of my skin, I got a piece of tissue and relocated the wasp out of my room to a place that is safer for little dude.

I truly do not know if he or she will survive, but I made sure that I gave it the best chances of survival. In the previous instances of me accidentally causing harm to insects and spiders, I have typically reacted with a lot of regret and self-loathing. This time I think I was a little more mature about it and just simply got on with trying to do what I can to make things right. Even if the wasp dies, I can rest knowing I tried.

And I am glad I reacted as such though – my thoughts were focused on trying to save the little fella above all else.

One of the most amazing things about this planet is its wildlife. And I am not just talking about the ‘desirable’ mammals like cats and dogs, but species like wasps, spiders, snakes, sharks, scorpions… They all deserve to live, even if you think that they are annoying or you are scared of them. We are currently in the middle of one of Earth’s largest extinction-level events (known as the Holocene extinction). I would be damned if I gave up on trying (where possible) to not be a contributing factor of it. As impossible that may seem in this day and age.