We are seeing better and more realistic films of nature & wild life. To say some are breathtaking is an understatement! We owe so much to those who take so much pain to bring real life drama for us to enjoy in the comfort of our homes. It is more a passion for them, as they are not rewarded well for all the trouble they take; waiting patiently, braving the elements and even putting their lives on the line!
One cannot but wonder at the similarities of life between us and others with whom we share this planet. Starting from how they protect & nurture their young, their hunt for food, social life, birth and the inevitable death. Most mirror our lives; like the lions chasing away the adolescent males from their pack, when they misbehave with the females and also become slackers, sleeping-in all the time, waiting for home delivery – a very human trait, come on! Some lead solitary lives, but others find safety and strength in herds; also not unlike us!
On reflection, there are other similarities like every moment can be the last; such is the uncertainty of life. Predators and prey play their part; predators targeting the young and infirm, while the prey protecting their own to the extent possible, even risking their lives. Also, the stand-out and touching scenes like mothers protecting their young, even taking on formidable predators and getting the better of them in the end! Lions are supposed to be the top of the food chain, but they also face life and death from their own, as well as from others like venomous snakes, when an attack goes awry etc. Also, the old males are chased away and forced to fend for themselves, some similarities here even! Younger ones taking over the pride and the females doing their best to protect their off-springs from the defeated, not unlike weak countries having to kowtow to the mighty!
And the strategy involved for survival and to put food on the table! The survival of the fittest gets real meaning in the animal world. All work as one or pay the price. The weakest member also has a bearing on the strength of the group – the chain is only as strong as the weakest link! But some also stay back to protect and nurture the young while others do cover-up duty for them! The hyenas, wild dogs, lions, rhinos etc also show real warmth and protect their young. The elephants remember their dead long after they are gone by lingering and revisiting the place of passing!
Life is precious and our fellow beings respect others’ space. They carry on, kill only to feed themselves and attack when threatened; no wanton killings to ascend to heaven to please God etc! They fight for their lives, enjoy their moments and just pass away. Even mighty lions take their lone walks when no more able to protect the pride, while female lions are useful even when old; not unlike our species!
Despite our material progress, it pays to remember the basic facts of life; that at some point, our faculties decline, so better to be useful and not take things for granted. Unity is strength and everyone has to pull his weight and earn his keep! Free-loaders are a burden but during times of need or misfortune, even the animal kingdom goes out of the way to extend a helping hand!
The wonders of science have helped us to observe in minute detail how other species have survived despite great odds. The crocodiles are great survivors, also turtles. Cockroaches preceded us and could outlive us; but to observe their lifestyles would be tough even for the diehard! No species goes out of the way to kill and destroy others, let alone their own; but our plain disregard in this respect, to tempt fate, and that too with weapons of mass destruction, can destroy life. Let us not go overboard but find strength in numbers. We are blessed, being at the top of the chain of creation; it is up to us to prove that we are worthy of that mantle. Let us create heaven right here and for good karma, leave a better world for generations to come! We have a higher calling; let us rise to the challenges than dissolve in disarray!