Yan Gor: Lifelong lesson on animal compassion
My dad is a strong Buddhist who believes in the values of yan (“something you do”) and gor (“the fruits of effort or what you get”). Actually many religions teach this same principle –
You Reap What You Sow.
Whenever dad went to our town pasar (wet market) and passed by a tank or aquarium shop, with live fishes, frogs or tortoises sold as feed or fishing bait, Dad will buy them all and bring them to the river or some safe places to release them, and so ‘saved’ them.
From him, I have understood compassion since I was a kid. All my life I try to keep animals from harms’ way and to care for them. I guess that is why I have the passion today in keeping my farm hens healthy.
I have applied the same principle of my dad until today. Whenever I have problems and not feeling happy, I will buy small fish or frogs and release them. It is a good feeling when you let them go. It feels like you have ‘saved’ many lives.
Everyone should try it, but make sure you buy those destined to die, NOT goldfish or decorative aquarium fishes, because people will not kill those!
I once asked my dad when he was buying live animals to release: Why don’t you buy all in the shops? Spend money to save all? Since you cannot save all, why even bother?
Dad answered: It might not make much difference to our feelings of doing good, but it made A BIG DIFFERENCE to the PARTICULAR FISH we bought and release.
It means we can’t save the world, but what we can do can make a difference to some. That made some sense and triggered my urge to help those who are less fortunate until today.