By Aung Myint Oo
Animal instincts would be less of thinking and more of reactions which make them different from human beings. However, sometimes one may come across some situations which will make them wonder as to whether the above statement is always true. Yes, that happened to me when I had come across an unexpected encounter during one of my usual Sunday morning jogs from which I learnt some invaluable lessons.
Like any other Sundays, after my usual run and cool-down stretches, I was strolling along the track while enjoying morning sun and scenic views of green trees and the creek running parallel to the track. Then, suddenly I was stunned and stopped by an unexpected but spectacular scene which was about 50 meters away from me. Guess what! There was a monitor lizard of fairly large size and a black spitting cobra confronting each other on the road.
While cobra with hood-up was in a defensive posture, monitor lizard raised its head in a combat-ready position. Cobra with shiny black colour scales glistens on the dark-grey asphalt road under the bright sunlight. The view was rather astonishing especially when swaying its hood.
When I remembered to capture a photo of such an unusual but spectacular scene, I whipped out my hand phone and ran up to get closer. I was a bit late. They both must have realised that none had an intention to harm the other. Cobra cooled down and slithered into the bushes at the other side of the road while monitor lizard proceeded to the opposite direction.
What I gathered from that event beside excitements and spectacular views was that although they are short-tempered animals and equipped with lethal weapons, they don’t harm each other naturally. In that particular encounter, they both must have thought first before they decide to take further steps to attack when they bumped into each other while human beings have been killing one another sometimes apparently due to no obvious or some petty issues. These monitor lizard and cobra know how to live together in the same habitat and contribute to keep the ecosystem alive. As much more intelligent human being, why can’t we?
The whole strings of thoughts preceded by that episode brought my attention to the on-going peace process in Myanmar attempting to keep the whole nation out of gun fires as first step and eventually to lay down building blocks for a harmonious nation where different tribes and ethnics can peacefully live together. The recent initiatives towards the “21st Century Panlong Conferene” under the stewardship of the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have given a clear signal that the new government take the issue of peace very seriously and put it as a paramount priority ahead of several other burning issues. Since the other important sectors such as economy will not move forward without peace and political stability, there is a strong calling for everyone regardless of what flag you fly and by what name you call god, to put aside differences and to join hands and hearts in an effort to build a unified nation.
By Aung Myint Oo