Buddhism teaches us equanimity. Buddhists strive to awaken the truth of this in them as part of their core practice. Until you see every living being as the same, then you do not truly see. This way of thinking is known as equal thinking and in Buddhism it is how you are supposed to eventually see all things. Buddhism teaches that the ant you walk on and smash accidentally is no different than the fly you swat to die purposefully.
The rabbit the hunter kills is no different than the wasp he swats to death just because the bee is in his home. Some people try and defuse their karma when they kill a living being by saying something like, “It’s just a fly”. Then they raise cane when they hear or see a cat or dog abused to death. Reason they act this way is because they are seeing life through ignorant eyes. They are looking at living beings as different according to many things.
They may feel the cat of dog was cute and cuddly but the fly was nasty and annoying. The truth in the matter is that if the living being is killed it does not matter what it is because all beings are the same. In Buddhism we often talk about one Bodhisattva more than another because she is very popular. Her name is Avalokitesvara. The story of this Bodhisattva goes: she looked down from her place at three persons.
Although there were three people walking in the midst she seen only three heaps. That is highly paraphrased but the main part of the story is that the Bodhisattva didn’t see individual people, she seen them as all the same so all she seen was three heaps of matter. Avalokitesvara is the Bodhisattva of love and compassion. She has transcended using names and tags and sees every living being as what it truly is devoid of all tags and names and identities.
This is what Buddhists strive to achieve, equanimity is one thing that the world lacks that if not would allow more peace on earth. If more people seen others as just like themselves then there would not be those that allow their ego to rule their lives. There would not be those that would try and control masses of others and there would not be wars where each side strives to be the better side by winning.
Truth is no one is any better than anyone else. No one is worse, no one looks fatter or skinnier or uglier or prettier. Everyone is the same and no one is better than the other. When you can see all things living as the same then you will be cultivating the ultimate compassion for all living beings. Once you can see that the tree you cut down is no different than the bug you swat on your skin then you are on your way.
Someone that can kill one bug but not other animals such as a squirrel because of some perceived belief like, “it’s too cute” is seeing all living things separate according to their scientific category. They are the one that will say all trees are the same, all flowers, all grasses, all birds etc. when they should be seeing those as all the same. When you look at things that way you are discriminating.
Discrimination sometimes means you are judging something or someone according to what you can see on the outside. It’s a way of saying that whatever it is can be different that someone else. When you see living beings through eyes like this you are seeing through ignorant eyes and your eyes are said to be closed to the truth. If you want to cultivate compassion for all living beings you have to first learn to see every living being as the same.
Buddha said you make the world with your mind. He meant that whatever you perceive the world and everything about it to be then that is what it becomes to you. So when you look at a living being whether it is a cute kitten or a butterfly or an annoying fly, remember that they are all the same and to kill one is just as bad as killing the other. Karma does not make exceptions for anything; one bad act is just as bad as any other act.
If you want to cultivate good karma and great compassion in your life the best way to go about it is to realize through teachings or this article or through meditation that these words are true. Train yourself to not feel remorse for one being but not another. Learn that reincarnation does not make exceptions to the rule. You can be reborn as the fly just as you can the cute cat or another human being. You never know who that ant you step on or that spider you kill was in its past life or if you knew them even.