I was having breakfast with a good friend at a resort in Johor Baru this morning and somehow our breakfast table was swarmed with houseflies. Naturally, we were irritated and started swapping the flies. Soon it became an amusement for us, pinning down the flies one by one. Then with much luck, I managed to hit one of the flies but it did not die, but broke a wing and laid on the table, crawling away for its life. I would have easily just palm it and it would be squashed on the table. Just as I was about to smack it, the insect took a turn and looked at me. At this instance, it suddenly hit me hard, that my choice of landing my hand on the table or simply putting it down beside my pocket will make a difference to a lifeform, be it just a housefly.
Whether the housefly is a pest or otherwise, it is still a living thing. And while we rid the pests for reasons of hygiene, I was ridding the houseflies because of personal amusement. And to me, amusements are never reasons why another life has to be terminated.
Sometimes we do certain things and think that the act is righteous because of the nature of the act, think again why we chose to do it. It is not an act that determines the right or wrong, but the reason why we perform the act. Ridding a pest to maintain a standard of hygiene may be reasonable and justified to many, but doing the same act for amusement is not acceptable.
I picked up my morning papers and left the cafe with my friend. We should not have killed any flies this morning for reasons we had. Not a single one. It is not forgivable.