Stepping on bugs... right or wrong?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Stepping on bugs... right or wrong?

Postby jakejake » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:22 pm

So I was at a school picnic we had to go to today. As I was sitting down, some ants started crawling onto the plastic blanket. At first I just started flicking them away with my fingers to keep them away from my sandwich... but more came, so I took one of my sneakers off of my feet and started whacking them and squashing them. As time went on they really didn't stop so I got up, put my shoe back on, and just started stamping my feet on the whole damn line and flattened their busy little antmound.

When I sat back down, some Indian hindu kid called me "white bully" because I step on ants. I told him to kiss my stinking feet. Why do people react this way? I've been stepping on bugs my whole life! If bugs are reincarnates of people, well... too bad, better luck next time hah. That means I've crushed a lot of people haha.
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Re: Stepping on bugs... right or wrong?

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:32 pm

Jake, do you think your actions were a reasonable response to the inconvenience of having ants close to where you were eating?
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Stepping on bugs... right or wrong?

Postby Anagarika » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:48 pm

too bad, better luck next time hah.


Jake, if rebirth does occur, and the process of rebirth is connected to one's kamma (karma , or actions) you might be mindful that you could be reborn in the insect realm as an ant yourself. Maybe, maybe not. One day, that approaching sneaker might have your name on it....so,try to be mindful that you and the ants are living things doing your best in the world, and as Ajahn Brahm suggests, practice kindfulness. Be kind to the ants. Be kind to others in your world. You may attract kindness to yourself, and what a better world that will be!
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Re: Stepping on bugs... right or wrong?

Postby chownah » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:55 am

Jakejake,
There is a thing called "empathy". It has to do with being able to connect with the feelings of another person or animal....like if someone sees a dog playing then that someone is likely to get into a good mood and play along with the dog. Empathy is a good thing even though we sometimes get sad when someone around us is having a bad time. Most people think that if you lack empathy that you have not become all that you can be. Your seeming total lack of empathy for the ants may indicate that you would benefit from thinking or even studying about empathy....maybe not.

As far as killing some ants goes I think it is nothing to lose sleep over but killing ants and not caring about it at all might mean that you are only thinking of your self and not thinking about the other things around you and let's face it, it is the other things around you that will make your life a good one or a bad one.
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Re: Stepping on bugs... right or wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:59 am

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Stepping on bugs... right or wrong?

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:05 am

Thank you Kim and Tilt, I now think we can close this thread.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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