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Let’s Applaud The Compassionate People Of India

Over the years I have wondered what compels the gentle people of India to go out of their way to ensure that the street animals are healthy and strong. I gather that feeding birds and animals is a part of offering in Hindu Mythology

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One thing that has always struck me is that the street dogs of India are always happy (as witnessed by their curled up tails) and well fed whereas in some countries the street dogs are sick and malnourished. I began to wonder why they are always so happy. 

During one of my visits, I learned that my Indian friends would take their left over food from every meal down to feed the street dogs. “Wow”, I thought, “such compassion and kindness I have never seen.”

During another trip, as I was meditating around midnight, I heard many street dogs howling in distress. The next morning I asked our business partner, Inderjeet, what that meant. His response again alerted me to the spiritual relationship between dogs and Indians. 

Inderjeet told me that because his fellow countrymen and women feed the dogs, the dogs feel it is their duty to protect the belongings of those who feed them. In this case, because this was downtown Delhi, I can only assume that some business was being invaded by thieves and the dogs went crazy. Such incredible loyalty! I was moved to tears.

Over the years I have wondered what compels the gentle people of India to go out of their way to ensure that the street animals are healthy and strong. I gather that feeding birds and animals is a part of offering in Hindu Mythology. 

The Hindu pilgrims believe God has taken their offerings through these creatures. So pilgrims generally feed animals and birds after offerings particularly in holy places like Benaras.

While this is true, I witnessed that Indian people from all religions and non-religious backgrounds also look after the street dogs. So what is inside the hearts of the Indian people that makes them so compassionate and caring?

Another story that I will remember for the rest of my life took place when our daughter and I decided to go white water rafting on the Ganges upstream from Rishikesh. We were told that while the rafting would only be of a level 3 power, what we experienced was a 4! It was my first time white water rafting anywhere in the world. 

During one particularly effervescent set of rapids, a 7 year old little Indian girl in the boat became very frightened. Suddenly, the entire boat of Indian adults started chanting “Mother Ganga God, Mother Ganga God” but in Hindi. Immediately the little girl calmed down. She was being taught that the Ganges is a holy river and that she would be protected – at least that is what they told me afterwards.  

Again I wondered what radar system the Indian people have inside of them that immediately alerts them to the fact that someone (human or animal) might need their help. And what inspires them to take immediate action to help whether they know that being or not.  

Quite astonishing, don’t you think?

As a child I was raised to discriminate against people of different colours, faiths and nationalities including the Indian people. It took me a couple of years to get rid of those negative beliefs. I am guessing that the teaching was to try and protect me from harm from people who were not “like us”, no matter what they looked like inside and out.

Today, some of my best friends, clients and students are Indians. I feel blessed to know them and have them in my life.

Now, here is a question for you?  As we watch the rising nastiness of people on the planet, how can we transfer the deep love and compassion of the average Indian to the people of other nations? To other leaders? If you have the answer, that could shift our planet into a positive one. Let me know.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Betska K-Burr

The author is known as The Guru Coach, is an Accredited Master Coach (IIC&M), Co-President of Coaching and Leadership Intl. Inc. and a Canadian best-selling author who has visited India on numerous occasions and loves India as her second home. www.CoachingAndLeadership.com

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