Who is bawling?
Even though humans have a hard time telling which calf belongs to what cow, those mama cows know their babies. Their cries are distinctive.
This mama had been grazing calmly and slowly, making her way across the pasture, when the first cry of a calf near the woods rang out. She stopped, lifted her head, and gazed in the direction of the cry.
After a few more pleading sounds were heard, she put her head back down and went back to foraging for the best grass. Off in the distance, you could hear the desperate call of another mama. That call was no different to me from any other cow, but I guarantee that crying calf knew who was making that racket.
A short time later both moos stopped, and I was assured that the lost calf had found its mother.
We, human parents, are no different. When our child laughs or cries on the playground, we know who it is that made those sounds. I can tell exactly which of my children is in the snack cabinet by the noises that come from the kitchen. I know which of my kiddos has just come into the house by the sound of their steps and how the door shuts (or slams in some cases). Our ears are trained to know when our loved ones are calling out for us. It is a very sensitive thing.
Sometimes we fail to care for the pleading of our fellow man. To us their cries sound like something that we don’t understand or that doesn’t impact us. We are like the first cow. We go about our business, trying to find the best grass, and only worrying if that crying will directly impact us.
This is a problem. You see; we are a herd of humans. Our joys and pains impact one another on a grand scale. (Don’t go thinking I am calling you all cows or something bullish.) We really do need to learn to listen for the sad sounds of our fellow man.
Yes, whining gets old. People with downer attitudes are draining. Hearing hard-luck stories can really leave you harried, but those stories, whining, and attitudes are rooted in pain that someone has experienced. Sensitivity towards their hurt could be what they need to bounce back.
Take time to notice the unheard or unvoiced cries of those around you as well. They may not bawl and screech in pain, but actions and reactions can scream volumes about the suffering of others. Sharpen your senses to better identify when those around you are in a troubled state. Don’t turn away from people you know are hurting.
Turning your back and continuing your search for greener grass makes you like that uncaring cow.
(Oops. I called you a cow. But only if you turn away from those that you can help.)
Make a goal for yourself to find ways to help those around you. Watch the prayer lists of local church bulletins; say a prayer or two or drop a kind card in the mail to someone on the list. Donate items to the Red Cross or a local food pantry. Spare some change for the bedraggled person on the street corner. Stop by the desk of that co-worker, who has been unusually quiet lately, and ask how things are going.
Ask open-ended questions of your kids or spouse each evening. No “Yes or No” questions; go with something like: “What was the craziest thing that happened to you today?” or “What have you been working on the hardest lately?” or “Did you know I really goofed up yesterday, it’s hard to make mistakes; isn’t it? Have you had any trouble this week?”
Adding intent to our receptive energy will allow us to be kinder and stronger. It will mold us into leaders and healers for those who feel hurt or lost. Don’t be like that uncaring cow; put some energy into reaching out to the lost or hurting around you. You will always find the greener pastures that way.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. This is a very nice cow. She just didn’t worry about the lost calf because it wasn’t hers. She is only a cow after all. Don’t judge her.