Photo credit: Timothy Shields.
From stories dating back to my childhood, I have memories of the lamb as being the weak one... The one who followed innocently... the one who had to be sheltered... the one who had to be picked up and carried to its nourishment and to its shelter. I recall seeing a lamb at its birth, and its legs were unable to support its weight.
The lion on the other hand has always been seen as powerful and as the one to be feared. It is the King of the jungle, the one who stalks quietly and surprises its prey. Yet, I also remember the lion who had been tamed in the movie "Born Free". I remember wanting a pet lion after seeing that movie. They seemed like such cuddly animals.
I also recall being told that cats and dogs did not get along. Yet I remember seeing, as a child, a motherless kitten suckling side by side with the puppies at the breast of our family dog. That definitely changed my perception of reality. I saw that everything is possible -- from the cat suckling at the breast of a dog, to the lion and lamb laying down side by side in peace... to the lion, in another scenario, devouring lambs.
You Never Know...
Having grown up on a farm in Northern Canada, I was raised with never locking the house door even when we were absent for a whole weekend. Consequently, I was surprised when my father started locking the door at night. Upon questioning him as to "Why?", I was told, "You never know what could happen..."
This change in his perception and expectations came about after our acquiring a television, a new addition in our household. I believe that after seeing examples of violence and negativity on TV, my father projected that into our reality and became fearful and stopped trusting that we were safe.
All Possibilities Exist
The possibility of all beings living peacefully side by side in harmony exists, as does the possibility of violence and theft. The importance lies in changing our perception, and changing the indoctrination that the youth receive while growing up. When you learn that all beings are your friends, you see no need to lock doors and put up barriers of defense or attack whether in your heart or in your house.
If we all learn to provide for and love each other, the thought of violence will never occur. Love will prevail.
Darkness is an Illusion
How is this possible? The lion can be strong and fearless, yet also gentle and loving. The lamb can learn to stand firmly on its own legs, trusting that the world is a friendly place. Yes, even the lamb and lion can dwell peacefully side by side; they simply need to be raised with that consciousness.
Let us see all our interactions through the light of the shining star of love and enlightenment, and we will see that all darkness is simply an illusion. Where the light of Love shines, all else disappears. You are loved unconditionally. Shine on!
Recommended book on this topic:
Ethics for the New Millennium
by The Dalai Lama.
In a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. Regardless of the violence and cynicism we see on television and read about in the news, there is an argument to be made for basic human goodness. The number of people who spend their lives engaged in violence and dishonesty is tiny compared to the vast majority who would wish others only well. According to the Dalai Lama, our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness. Ethics for the New Millennium presents a moral system based on universal rather than religious principles. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious beliefs.