• Ken Caputo

Helping Bats Fly

Today has been a difficult day.

Not for any particular reason. It’s just felt sad, and frustrating, and has left me feeling a little defeated. I think it’s mostly due to a choice I made last year.

Early in 2020, when the world imploded, I decided to maintain open channels of communication. Period. I haven’t blocked or unfriended anyone on social media. I haven’t severed any friendships or cut off communication with anyone.

I’ve been choosing to listen, suspend judgement, and do my best to understand each person’s view without filtering it through my own beliefs and biases first. I have to say, it really sucks sometimes.

I think what’s hardest is when people I care about get so angry or scared that they lash out in hurtful ways. The meanness, name calling, the condemnation of entire groups of people leaves me with a deep sense of sadness.

I get it. I really do. We all need to make our stand in the way that feels right to each of us. Others will disagree, sometimes aggressively. I’m hopeful that over time, arguments, blame, and accusations will be replaced with healthy debate and solution-oriented conversations. We shall see.

Let’s set all of that aside for a moment. Other than to frame what has left me feeling kind of crappy today, it’s not overly relevant to what I wanted to share with you.

When I’m feeling like this, one thing that helps is to shift my attention to all of the amazing humans out there doing good work. They tend to be the quiet ones, so you have to look carefully, and not make any sudden movements, or you might scare them away.

When you see these humans in their natural habitat, they are beautiful to behold. They do such profoundly simple things with a grace that leaves you breathless. Quite often, if you were to comment on it, they would look at you with confusion. To them, this is nothing special. It’s just who they are, and they’re simply doing the work they feel needs doing.

Today, one person in particular is helping me feel a little lighter.

I’ve never met this person. I don’t even know her name. She works in some type of animal rescue center, and I came across a video of her doing her work, and it was beautiful.

She was holding a fruit bat up in air, and walking it around the facility. Turns out that this bat is thirty-three years old, has one eye, and is no longer capable of flying. So this woman holds it up and walks it around while he slowly flaps his wings. He’s looking around, and I swear he looks like he’s smiling as he “flies’ around the facility.

I was so touched by this. I highly doubt this is in the bat rescue training manual. Maybe it is, I don’t know. What I do know is that this beautiful human saw a life in front of her, and cared for it to the best of her ability simply because she could.

She literally lifted this creature up and added a little joy to its life.

I’m feeling better just writing this. I feel better knowing that there are people all over the world right now helping bats fly in their own unique way. They are grocery shopping for their neighbors, or shoveling their driveway, or sending a kind note to someone who is hurting.

All over the world, there are people smiling when they don’t feel like it, doing their best work without expecting a word of thanks, and going out of their way to treat people with kindness and respect.

I feel better knowing that some of these people are the same people that might be lashing out right now. I bet that when they are in their natural habitat, they are helping bats fly too.

I think we are all lifting someone up, helping them feel that they can fly.

My dream for you today is that when you are down, you remember to find meaning and value in the person you are and the work that you do. Personally, I’ve found that hard to remember sometimes. Especially when life turns its ugly, mean side towards us. It can be difficult to be at our best when life is smacking us around.

May you find respite and joy in your natural habitat. May it give you the space you need to safely look around and find that cause or person to lift up as only you can. May you find yourself smiling as you watch their wings spread. May you feel a quiet sense of connection to all things as you make your unique contributions to the world around you.

And lastly, may you remember to look down at the hands that are holding you up. May you see the smiling faces of the humans who are looking up at you as you fly. May you feel uplifted in knowing that you are uplifted in turn.

Thank you for being you, and on behalf of all of those whom you have lifted up, we are grateful to you for helping us fly 🙂

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