I took a long walk this morning for the first time since my foot surgery. Along the way I saw a male and a female bluebird sitting on a tree limb. Suddenly a mockingbird flew in and hovered above them, chasing them away. The mocking bird settled on the same limb. Then, the male blue bird swooped down and chased the mocking bird away and the blue birds perched again on the limb. This war for perching rights on the limb continued for several minutes until I lost interest and walked on.
Further up the street two cats walked cautiously around each other, making strange cat noises, warning each other not to get too close because an attack was imminent. Two houses up, dogs behind fences barked at the cats.
As I walked I remembered one morning last summer sitting on my patio as humming birds put on a master class of acrobatic flying while attacking one another for the feeding rights at the feeders in my backyard.
Then I thought of the huge, two inch black and yellow female cicada killer wasp that I had seen in my yard dragging a paralyzed cicada down into its underground lair, where the female would lay eggs inside the cicada. When the eggs hatched, the larva would use the cicada for food.
A red-tailed hawk hunts its prey frequently in my neighborhood, gliding silently high overhead, then with its powerful eyesight that is eight times sharper than the sharpest human eye, it spots a mouse or a bird or a squirrel or a kitten and swoops down, diving at speeds that can reach 120 miles per hour.
These animal and insect wars go on each day, every day, unseen or unnoticed by us.
And much like the rest of the animal kingdom, we humans have our wars too. But unlike the birds, the dogs, the cats, or the wasps in my neighborhood, we humans have no excuses. And this makes our wars much more terrible, and much more senseless.
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam teach that God gave human beings dominion over God's creation; the world and everything in it. Can we honestly look at the world and say that we are managing it the way God would manage it?
I have to believe that God gave humans dominion over creation because God made us in such a way that we have the ability to rise above our pride, our greed, our lust, our envy, our anger, our laziness, and our gluttony.
The question that we are all asking, is when will we rise above? When will we stop chasing other birds from the limbs of trees over and over again? When will we stop barking at cats? When will we start thinking with the mind of God?