Pathos: The Black Panther

 

    Once upon a time there was silence among the rainforest, it was covered in mist. Among the mist two green eyes appeared…that of a black panther. It quietly walked looking around wondering why the rainforest was so silent today. It was apprehensive. The mist carried his essence, he felt comfortable in it. He enjoyed it…he was part of it. So it was not the mist that disturbed him it was how suddenly all sound vanished, not even one bird chirping. He was not afraid but felt cautiousness; maybe he was always a little too cautious, suspicious. This was before he discovered who he was.

     He usually wandered around the rainforest alone watching every footstep he made. That’s why he really enjoyed the mist because he remained hidden. Hidden from life. He remained in solitude conversing only if he had to. He especially loved the moon; he would spend hours gazing at the moon.

      On that day where everything stood still it was almost as if someone had pushed a button and all life, everything froze. He felt uneasy, serious. He then heard a whisper “Pathos” echo three times. The mist cleared a little enough to see a small brown frog with green dots on it. The frog whispered that word again. “What is pathos?” asked the panther. “That is what you hold in your heart,” answered the frog. “What does that mean?” he asked. “It means passion,” said the frog. One that holds pathos shares and invokes passion in others, whether it be passion for life, adventure, strength, or anything else. You can awaken that in others, it is your gift. It is what drives you, what moves you…what guides you through life.

      “I don’t have that” said the panther. ‘You do” said the frog, “you are just keeping it hidden, you have not embraced it yet.” “Hhhhmmmm…” said the panther with his normal suspicious attitude. The frog quacked and quacked laughing along. “Come with me” he said. “Let go, relax. Hop with me!” “I don’t hop, I am a panther.” “So what? You can do anything you want” responded the frog. “Hhhmmm” said the panther. “Just try it” said the frog. So the panther hoped. “Well it is kind of fun” he said. So he hoped again. He began to hop with the frog in the lake and soon forgot about how cautious he had to be. He was too busy hoping along feeling the drops of water splashing over him…until he was completely drenched. But he did not care. The more he let go the more he felt free.

     He began to feel all sorts of emotions! Stillness, happiness, joy, humor, mystery, playfulness, guilt, fear, sadness anxiety, hurt – this made him stop. It was almost as though all feelings kept inside him were been released and floating away. “It is ok” said the frog. “All feelings and emotions are good, as long as you do not keep them hidden, they are all beautiful. A tear then came down the panther’s left eye. He felt relief…then came another tear down his right eye..and another and another. It began to rain. At first his tears were that of sadness but soon…they became tears of joy. The rain cleared away the rainforest pouring and pouring with thunder and lightning.

     “This is your true self.” said the frog “thunder and lightning.” It rained and rained until the sun came out. The rainforest was as alive as ever. The birds chirping, the tree’s branches speaking through the wind, the monkeys leaping from tree to tree…occasionally annoying each other. The panther’s tears had become the rain, washing away all emotions to bring in new life. With the rain the plants grew, the trees and animals drank and new flowers grew.

“Always follow the rain’s example,” said the frog.

      From that day on the panther embraced his pathos which occasionally now and again would bring the shedding of tears, bringing new life to the rainforest. 

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