This story is about a little blue bird… a little blue budgie bird that nobody wanted. One day a group of us were out and about with Rinpoche, looking for gifts for students and friends when Rinpoche decided to pay the mall’s pet shop a visit. As we were browsing, Rinpoche had spotted a little blue bird amongst the crowded cage of budgies standing in a corner alone. Somehow Rinpoche noticed that this bird was unusual and it had a very long upper beak that looks like a deformed growth.
Rinpoche immediately alerted us saying that this poor bird will definitely not make it, no one will buy this bird because of its deformed beak so we must rescue her. Immediately Rinpoche asked us to find out a few things regarding the bird. We were lucky the vet was there as he’s only at the pet store a few days in a week.
We learnt from the vet that this blue budgie has some mite problems which they were treating, so definitely not the healthiest bird amongst the lot. That explains why she looked weak and was standing alone in a corner. It takes someone who truly cares to have spotted this little birdie, and how fortunate for her that Rinpoche came along!
So the next day Pastor Shin and I went to pick her up and sent her in for a complete check-up at our own trusted vet. The bird’s beak had to be filed down otherwise it would have been hard for the bird to eat. Hence the doctor observed that the bird was malnourished and gave us multivitamins to add to the bird’s diet. She still had mites so medication was also given to treat this problem. Doctor advised us to quarantine the bird for at least two weeks before another check-up to see if the bird has completely healed. Only then can we decide to introduce him into the big aviary.
“Nobody wanted this bird due the fact that his beak is deformed. Well I want him. He was full of mites and we have treated him. He will live in a huge aviary with plenty of space, sunshine and space to fly in Kechara Forest Retreat. Welcome little bird to love and care.”~Tsem Rinpoche
This is how compassionate Rinpoche is. Who would actually buy a sick bird a pet store knowing it is sick? Rinpoche would, and make sure the bird gets healed, and then giving the bird a home in the most comfortable environment we can provide. Rinpoche’s mission was about saving lives, and giving the best for those who are voiceless, a chance to live a happy life, and as much as possible… free from suffering. Rinpoche does not go into pet shops to buy pets because they are ‘cute’ or for personal enjoyment; instead Rinpoche ‘purposely’ goes on the lookout for the sick and the neglected ones – to help the birds that nobody wanted.
In fact if Rinpoche had the means and resources, Rinpoche would save and help as many animals as possible especially those abused and abandoned. Hence the strong aspirational prayers and wishes for a future Kechara’s Animal Santuary.
I learnt a great deal about birds and how to care for a sick bird from this experience. But most of all I am very grateful to Rinpoche for teaching us what real compassion means; giving your all and doing your best in helping another being out, in this case… a little blue bird. It was an honour to be able to save another being’s life. Honestly if I had not met Rinpoche, I don’t think I would have ever considered saving a bird from a pet shop. It’s common to help a stray dog or cat, but very rare would anyone consider helping a neglected or sick bird.
As always before we do anything positive Rinpoche would remind us to set a good motivation, and when the good action is done, to always seal the merits with a strong dedication so that we’re able to help others more in the future. Thank you Rinpoche for reminding us the basic reason why we are here, why we are ‘humans’. To be human is to be able to empathise with another, to help those who are in need, those who are weaker, those without a voice… this is part of being human, to be humane. Otherwise what is our purpose in life? It cannot be just to take care of ourselves, to make our own selves happy and stand by to watch another suffer. If we can’t help an animal, the least we could do is to NEVER ever hurt or harm them. We are all the same in how we feel for every sentient being only wants happiness and not pain or suffering.
Thank you Rinpoche for opening my eyes to acts of kindness anyone can do if only we cared enough to do it.