Looking out for our turtles

Browsing Twitter on Sunday morning, ahead of the COBIS conference, I came across a video of a turtle struggling on its back. I can’t find the original source, or I would credit it, but seeing the number of views of the video clip, I think there is a fair chance that you have seen the video and can shed some light on this, especially as I saw the video in a number of different feeds.

In the video, a turtle flaps around on its back in a shallow pool, going round and round in circles as it struggles to right itself. A number of other turtles are nearby, and up to this point were just swimming around in a very turtle-like fashion – which always appears relaxed and a little random (although who are we to know what turtles are actually thinking, and what guides their movements?). Once the distress of the turtle becomes clear, however, the nearby turtles converge on the position of their suffering acquaintance, and combine to form a supportive wall which, with a few nudges, enables the turtle to be flipped back over on to its front, and return to its swimming.

The turtle being returned to normal

In one of the feeds, the video was accompanied by the hashtag #KindnessMatters, and I thought this was a beautiful way to caption the metaphor inspired by these turtles. I don’t know if turtles can be kind or not, but they certainly made a difference through their actions. They spotted another turtle in distress, they came together – it took more than one turtle to form the wall – and then they acted thereby saving the turtle in distress. When others are in distress, we need to step up and form part of their protective wall; when we are in distress, we need to find our fellow turtles.

An uplifting model upon which to reflect as we start another week. Onwards and upwards!

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