In a recent post, I described my grandson’s loving acceptance of George the lemur who lost his tail. This morning, George was found with his hand resting on Chao Chao in what appears to be a gesture of kindness. (Everyone denies staging this scenario, so think what you will about how this came about.)
Chao Chao recently joined the family, brought home by my daughter (my grandson’s aunt) from her visit to China over Thanksgiving. He is a rat, symbolizing 2020, the year of the rat in Chinese astrology.
Perhaps George is inviting us to make 2020 the year of kindness and compassion, to encourage others rather than criticize, to accept rather than judge, to reach out rather than reject, to forgive rather than hate, to love rather than fear.
The Dalai Lama says that his religion is kindness. The Chinese goddess Guan Yin pours the nectar of compassion over the world. Jesus cautioned us to judge not, and commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Buddha taught that hatred ceases not by hatred but only by love.
All these great wisdom teachings have been modeled for me in the last few days by my grandson and his stuffed animal. “And a little child shall lead them,” says the Bible. Perhaps one of my last lessons this year is humility.
In a few days I will head up to my forest cabin for my year end retreat. On New Year’s Eve, I will sit in front of the fire. First I will write a letter to the year ending, thanking it for its lessons and blessings. Then I will write a letter to the new year, welcoming it with hospitality and openness. Finally I will burn both letters, offering all my gratitude and anticipation to the heavens and the earth.
We each choose what to pay forward in the next year. May we choose well.