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I squashed you. In a second you were gone. Is there anything I can tell you that won’t make this apology of mine seem ridiculously insensitive? For no matter what I say, the truth remains that I squashed you, that you are no longer crawling along the tables of the coffee shop where you bothered nobody but did as much as come into my sight for less than a few seconds this evening. That was your only mistake. You should be feasting on the tiniest bits of brown sugar that is all over the coffee shop at this moment, your Heaven but instead, you do not exist anymore.
From my brutality, you can certainly tell that this isn’t the first time I squashed one of your kind. I couldn’t have come to this ease without doing it a few times (or more) before. But this certainly is the first time I am writing an apology, a deep, heart-felt, guilt-ridden, shame-bitten apology and I hope I check and arrest my barbaric apathy towards all that are not a danger to me and whose lives I have no right to end.
You wonder what absurdity this is? I am not a vegetarian that keeps away from meat because my conscience will kill me. I am not likely to say no to a full plate of well roasted chicken for dinner, I am not sure if I will be sorry for the chicken but I am sorry for you. Perhaps someday I will be sorry for the chicken too. I hope that happens.
This is different dear ant, my squashing you is mighty different. I squashed you but if you ask me why, I have no answer.
I didn’t think of that question or my lack of reason until a sensitive heart that witnessed this brutality sighed in disappointment and possibly pain. The sigh sounded a deafening bell in me, awakened my reason, and shook me from my passive indolence towards life. ‘It was just there,’ said this person. And that’s right – you were just there, there’s nothing you did that made you deserving of the harm I caused you. In a split second I killed you dear ant and the very next second a human life mourned your death with a painful sigh. Perhaps it’d comfort you to know dear ant that your death was mourned, your life honoured with a slap of shame on your killer.
I cannot fathom what I did and why. I took your life for granted and what damage I caused. I am not convinced I should seek your forgiveness. But I apologize deeply. As I think of my action, I ponder over the things I take for granted, of my mindless habits that could possibly be causing some great harm to someone somewhere. The unkind words I utter without much thought, the help I refuse to do because I am busy, the smile I don’t flash, the stories I don’t hear, the empathy I don’t offer. I am embarrassed at all the grave mistakes my mindlessness could be making, and amazed at how that could change if I act with mindfulness.
My Buddhist brothers urge to meditate over every action before acting, just in case. This is wisdom. I learnt my biggest lesson in judgement and conscience with just one sigh of a beautiful heart and with the loss of your precious life. Today I learn the meaning of mindfulness, a new lesson in sensitivity and a never before known shame in apology over causing great damage just by habit.
I am so sorry.
Perhaps, in some world, I will be an ant and you will be a mindful woman at a coffee table, with a lovely man, that will let me go about my business of life and shame me further.
Your deeply ashamed killer.