A strange train of thought just occurred to me. Do we as humans kill what we fear. We don't recognize, what we don't 'know'?
Ask anyone in my family what is the one thing you can count on if find a bug trapped in my home; car; doctor's office? To a person they will tell you that I immediately rescue it and return it to the environment from whence it came. So moths, lighting bugs, beetles and the like are captured in my hand and let loose out a window or door. When it comes to stingy things or spiders, a cup and 3x5 card is used to trap it and return it to the wild.
When a line of ants marches across my counter to munch on a spill it is heart wrenching for me to have to kill them and usually I'll leave them unless the line becomes a swarm. Friendly spiders are left to live in corners and in winter I've been known to leave the little line of ants snaking along the edges of the bathroom sink to eat the soap scum from the dish. To this point I've either proven that I'm a nature freak, a housekeeping slob, or truly what I am...someone who respects life in all its various forms.
Today, however, I became a warrior intent on killing a strange looking bug I had never seen before. A beetle like creature that could flap its wings and fly up off the floor enough to elude me for a few minutes. I didn't think of running for a cup, or God Forbid!, cup it in my hand for release back into the wild. I was bent on its destruction! I had never seen anything like it. Was it a young cockroach (ick!) come home in a grocery bag? A stinging bug as of yet unidentified along the coast of Jersey? Or just some nasty invader I didn't know who deserved to 'bite the dust'.
In very un-Carolynlike manner I became the huntress. Chasing it around the room I cornered this unsuspecting innocent and stomped on it with my pink plastic Crocs until I heard a 'pop!' and knew I was victorious in the hunt. In that moment a wave of enlightenment surrounded me. Do we, as humans, sentence to death those whom we don't know or understand just for that reason alone? Are the wars we fight in the name of 'freedom' really from our fear of the unknown? Do we feel justified in wiping out a people because we don't understand them or their ideologies are so foreign to use we feel justified to 'stomp' the life out of a civilization we perceive to be 'evil doers'?
I can't explain the feeling that swept over me when I looked down at the crushed and broken body of that bug. It was so unlike me to have done that but I realized it happened because I was fueled by my fear of the unknown. The sadness of that moment was one I wanted to share. To give all who read this pause; to think of their own reactions to what is unknown or not understood.
For me the reason is clear. It was repugnance of something that I had never seen before and had no inclination of getting to know before I chose to obliterate it in one stomp of a pink plastic Croc.