“Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” — Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:9; Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a.
I’ve always believed that our planet is blessed with interconnected species, and we benefit from each other. I give thanks every day for God’s gifts of the miracles of Nature all around me. This quote from the Talmud implies that we humans need to live in accordance with the laws governing the natural world, and that each and every life is worthy and sacred. So in thinking about how this is relevant in my own life, I would say that saving a life in this context includes other animal species, not just human beings. All life on earth is synergistic and inter-dependent, as shown very beautifully in the film “Avatar”. There is an inherent respect for animal and plant species by the indiginous people, and never any thought of selfish acquisition or abuse of another species. And these people clearly recognize that all sentient beings have souls, as without our corporeal forms which are only needed while on earth, we are all pure energy and light (soul essence of our being) and vibrating together. So you cannot affect one life without consequence to others, including your own.
In the most obvious way, if you’re a wildlife conservationist and you have rare white male and female tigers bred in captivity to save the species, you’ve saved one (well, really two) to “save” the entire species from extinction. But in a broader sense, it’s like pebbles in the pond, as when I’ve saved a fallen bird from the clutches of one of our cats (don’t worry, they get plenty of food from us!) and the entire bird colony can rest just a little easier. And I feel grateful and “saved” as well… It’s those good, protective vibes I put out for all of God’s creatures. Word gets around!