• Colin De France

Who are we to judge?

I witnessed an unusual incident today. While letting the dogs out for a pee break, Bazel; the larger of our two American bulldogs, suddenly jumped straight up in alarm as he sniffed about in the garden. Turning to see what had frightened the seventy-five pound canine, my eyes fell upon a three foot garter snake writhing in the grass. Upon closer observation, I saw that the snake had caught a toad which was several times larger than its own head. With jaws stretched beyond belief, the snake was in the process of swallowing the toad whole! Perhaps resigned to the gravity of it's situation, the toad did not even seem to be putting up much of a fight. My immediate reaction was one of anger towards the snake and pity for the toad. Resisting any temptation to try and free the toad from the jaws of death, I shifted my perspective to the play of life and death that was unfolding before me.

The dilemma: Do I save the toad and deny the snake a meal (which it had obviously worked very hard to obtain) or simply allow nature to run its course? Calling the dogs inside, I decided to choose the latter.

The nature of human physical experience is such that we are limited by what we are able to perceive with the five senses. The nature of sensory perception in turn, is such that we are constantly making comparisons between pre-determined reference points that are stored in our subconscious memory. In order to experience something as cold for example, we needed to have experienced it's opposite at one point in time. On the other hand, what I experience as "hot" might only be perceived as warm by someone else, or even cold by another creature. The perception of hot or cold, foul or fragrant, loud or quiet, delicious or unpalatable, beautiful or ugly, depends on one's perspective, which is the product of personal experience.

The point I am trying to make is that our interpretation of what is good or bad is skewed by the prejudice of our own personal experience, which is always subject to change. At the end of the day, who are we to judge?

Love & blessings,


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Serving Toronto, Hamilton & surrounding area

Ontario, Canada

Colin De France

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