Sparrows and Sky
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In , Mao Zedong ended the campaign against sparrows and redirected the fourth focus to bed bugs. The "Four Pests" campaign was introduced in by Mao Zedong, as a hygiene campaign aimed to eradicate the pests responsible for the transmission of pestilence and disease: the mosquitos responsible for malaria; the rodents that spread the plague; the pervasive airborne flies; and the sparrows — specifically the Eurasian tree sparrow — which ate grain seed and fruit.
In addition to these tactics, citizens also resorted to simply shooting the birds down from the sky. At dawn one day last week, the slaughter of the sparrows in Peking began, continuing a campaign that has been going on in the countryside for months.
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The objection to the sparrows is that, like the rest of China's inhabitants, they are hungry. They are accused of pecking away at supplies in warehouses and in paddyfields at an officially estimated rate of four pounds of grain per sparrow per year. And so divisions of soldiers deployed through Peking streets, their footfalls muffled by rubber-soled sneakers. Students and civil servants in high-collared tunics, and schoolchildren carrying pots and pans, ladles and spoons, quietly took up their stations. The total force, according to Radio Peking, numbered 3,, Some sparrows found refuge in the extraterritorial premises of various diplomatic missions in China.
The personnel of the Polish embassy in Beijing denied the Chinese request of entering the premises of the embassy to scare away the sparrows who were hiding there and as a result the embassy was surrounded by people with drums. After two days of constant drumming, the Poles had to use shovels to clear the embassy of dead sparrows.
Two Sparrows - A Meditation — Where the Questions Live
By April , Chinese leaders changed their opinion due to the influence of ornithologist Tso-hsin Cheng  who pointed out that sparrows ate a large number of insects, as well as grains. By this time, however, it was too late. The big problem comes when a goldfish wants to be a sparrow.
We are doomed to live a life of discontent when we do not joyfully accept the role in life we have been given. We see typical families doing things we will never be able to do, and we compare ourselves to them. We walk right in to the trap of comparing totally different realities. Sparrows are lovely and blessed to fly above it all, but we know the secrets found only by living the deeper life. We know how to breathe underwater, how to glide through situations that would kill a sparrow. We see a world that sparrows will never see.
Old World sparrow
They will never know the beautiful treasures found underwater where things are magnified and intensified. We all know that what people post on social media is just a highlight reel of their life. Most of our Facebook friends do not post the realities of their daily life. I will always be disappointed if God created me to be a goldfish and I constantly measure my life against the people who were created to be sparrows.
Both lives have beauty and purpose. Both lives matter and both have meaning — but they will forever be distinctly and intentionally different. A sparrow has no need for fins, and a goldfish no need for feathers. How sad it would be if sparrows were always trying to swim and goldfish to fly. What a waste of divine purpose and destiny.
In the Absence of Sparrows
We must wholeheartedly accept and embrace our underwater life and stop wishing for feathers if we were given fins. We are only on this planet for a short while. Someday all the pain, suffering, and disappointment will be gone. Damp air rising from towering trees and a faint mist hovering over the dark water of the lake.
My footsteps hollow on the small wooden bridge. The cloud of twittering sparrows bursting from the bushes and surrounding me in an instant. But when I heard that my grandmother had died, was dying in England while the Canadian sparrows swarmed around me, it felt like something. Sparrows used to be seen as psychopomps, creatures that carry the souls of the dead to the next life.
The tattoo came later.
All of this happened in a different world. Before smartphones, before messenger apps. Back then, my brother lived in England, and I lived in Canada. Now he lives in Canada, and I live nowhere. Like an airport sparrow, I find what warmth I can and call it home. As though all those years, the airports, the jobs, the girls, the triumphs and setbacks were just the fleeting dreams of a frustrated loser. My phone has fallen silent. Even the miracle of human flight has its limits.
Even in the freakish snow that fell in the French Riviera yesterday, while a storm named Emma grips England in her teeth. But today, the Mediterranean sun is slanting through the windows, casting hot rectangles of light on the polished floor and making the fallen crumbs of food look twice as large, twinned by their shadows. But do they ever miss the wide blue sky that shines outside, just on the far side of a pane of glass?
- Sun, 21 Oct 2018.
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