“The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams but in active charity and in willing service.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I live on the lake and love sitting on the dock watching the wildlife do their thing. There are fish and birds and insects and otters and snakes and gators and it seems like you are always just a second away from some National Geographic moment. Everybody wants to eat each other! It is a constant battle just to stay alive or just to get a meal.
Throughout the day, the minnows and small fish bunch up close to the shore line as small bass wait just a few feet away to make their attack. Out of the quiet stillness comes a sudden splash as the bass darts among the scattering small fish only to quickly retreat to a few feet away to make another attempt a few moments later. It seems so brutal.
The truth is however that it does not stop there because there are bigger bass waiting just a little deeper in the water that prey on these smaller bass. I have seen a huge bass swallow everything but the tail of a 14 inch bass right in front of me.
But it doesn’t even stop there. Below is a picture of an osprey that nailed a bass right off our dock that was so big it took four attempts to get airborne again! It is not ever wise for the big fish in the pond to get too cocky. I love competition but we are different from these animals. We don’t look for the weak to prey upon. We try to help those who swim in shallow water get to deeper water. Instead of having our fellow beings for lunch, we seek to make sure those that are hungry actually have something to eat.
In our world, being the big fish in the pond does not make you the apex hunter…it allows you to be the apex provider…it allows you to be the apex comforter…the apex “are you hanging in there okay man…anything I can do?”…all of your own free will and choice. It becomes your opportunity, to make sure those around you are getting a few breaks. You can see it so easily in those around us who use their good fortune to bless the lives of others.
So my hat is off to the big fish that still remembers what it was like to be just a little minnow. It helps “school” the rest of us on how to behave when we make it to deeper water. It makes for a happy and sustainable pond and sure beats being bait!
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