Many years ago, in my first apartment in Nashville, there was a mouse. This is not a heartwarming story of how a lonely girl made friends with this mouse. I don’t like them. So I bought a trap. A sticky trap. In my innocence, since the trap had seeds on it, I thought the seeds were poisonous and the mouse would quickly die. I learned my mistake the next morning when I found a still-living mouse on the trap. I disposed of the creature and went to work.
Still shaken by the experience, I told our department secretary about what happened. She was horrified and gave me a lecture: “Those sticky traps are inhumane. No person who likes animals would ever buy one.”
I felt like the village outcast, someone who should be shunned for my awful behavior. I promised to never buy another sticky trap, and I haven’t.
But then, a few weeks later, at lunch, our secretary told us all a ‘funny’ story about what her cat did the night before. A mouse had ventured out from a closet, and the cat spent a good hour chasing it, tossing it, and batting it around before killing it.
I said nothing, but I couldn’t help thinking that, if given the choice, the mice in question would have found either manner of death equally horrifying.
It is often easy to attack others at times because we only see the behavior. It is easy to defend ourselves because we know our intentions and any or all extenuating circumstances.
But we need to look at the end result.