As someone who loves animals, no matter where you go, that is something that will always stay with you.
As everybody has to, I “grew up”. I moved away from home and continued with life in a new country. I moved far away from home my mom and my dad; but never from the most important thing that he taught me: love. So yes, like everyone, I had to grow up and my love for animals grew along with me.
My new house was in front of a lake, where ducks come and go as the seasons change. One day I found one little duckling that got bitten by a turtle that was trying to eat him. I never knew turtles ate ducklings. Like people say, you learn something new every day. The snapping turtles are a huge danger for ducklings, like hawks, owls, crows, and countless other predators. Out of 20, usually, only three make it alive. This duckling was one of the remaining six. A huge chunk of his side belly was gone, and its organs were falling out. It was probably one of the hardest injuries I have had to take care of.
In a foreign country, without my dad’s help and his knowledge of birds, without a car to take him to a veterinarian, or I had no idea how; I had to figure out something to save that poor baby. That was when I remembered that with two hands anything was possible and that I was not going to let an animal die.
I covered the duck in a towel and put pressure on the wound, took a cab, and took him to the only wildlife rescue center in Orlando. They had to do surgery on him. Today he is a duck, with feathers, and beautiful green wings. He learned how to fly, and I filmed every second of it. Every day at 3 o’clock, he flies to my balcony every day looking for me.
A neighbor, who had seen what I did, asked me when did I become so passionate about wildlife and animals, so I told him it was the way that I was raised.
When I was a kid I asked my father how did he became a Sensei, to what he smiled, and simply answered “by lifting others”.
And in my own way, that is exactly what I do.
Always remember, we rise by lifting others.