Everyone in the neighborhood has either seen the bears or has piles of bear scat in their yard. My neighbor, Connie, says her sunflowers have all been bent in half and the seed heads have been eaten.
Our forester neighbor has been on all of our cases for years about bringing in the birdfeeders in March. But some of us cheat. We like to see the birds up close; they bring us so much joy.
But the birdfeeders bring bear, who then become used to people food and the sources of people food. In the confrontation between people and a bear, the bear always loses--its life. The bear will be killed. It's a life-and-death situation for the bear.
We like to do things our way. Wisdom suggests a different way, a different action. But we think we can get away with our little cheat. "Surely, it won't hurt anyone," we reason.
The Buddha was very specific. We have the 5 precepts of doing no harm, not taking what isn't offered, using our sexual energy wisely, speaking truthfully and helpfully, and not using intoxicants.
Perhaps one of these precepts sticks in our craw. Oh, surely, we think, it's not that important.
But our actions are extremely important. Our actions are really the only, only thing we own.
Our actions are a life-and-death situation--for us.