Don’t waste a moment. They deserve true relating. Present choice-based communication where we honour them by allowing them to be individuals who are talking to us. Listen and respond with grace, not ‘systems’.
My son was gifted with a record player. What excitement. He plugged it into our surround sound system and hauled out my record collection – unplayed for the last 25 odd years. Not sure who was more excited as he took the LP out of its sleeve – none other than Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway to Heaven’, slipped it on, and the static crackle launched me back into nostalgic joy.
Joy aside, it was such a great lesson. My son was clueless on how records worked. He was shocked that you only got to listen to four or five songs and then you had to manually turn over the record to hear the other songs. I remembered evening with friends where we would gather around the record player and choose the songs we wanted to listen to. We would argue and motivate what went next. And, yes, manually do the business of putting on the song once we agreed.
The lesson – perhaps convenience is robbing us of our responsibility to choose. We no longer are in touch with the world. Our fast foods are made up. Even packets of half made foods provide convenience, but less tangible processes with mother earth. We are no longer in touch with the world. We are removed from her, and busy complaining about the cue in the check out line being too long. Forgetting what time it would take if we really had to go out and harvest the trolley load of packaged material.
So off the soap box now. Let’s get to the animal relationship connection…What is the impact on our relationships with animals? The modern human is addicted to systems. Which is tantamount to the blind leading the blind. The flat liners encouraging the unmotivated.
Rules and regulations on how to respond when something goes in a particular way are the quickest path to eradicating respectful relationships. Question – if you hear yourself or another saying – about your dog – don’t let him jump up on you. He is not allowed to do that. Or the horse must respond like this when you do that. There is a place for consistent relationship. There is a place for clear boundaries. However, are we always looking at the animal – from the animal’s point of view? Or the human, for that matter. If your four legged friend needs some comfort during a thunder storm, will he feel confident enough in relationship with you to ask for that comfort? If your horse is startled by a snake, will he consider his response or simply throw you off and look after his own safety.
When we create relationships with people or animals, we cannot do it with rules. We have to do it with respect. So yes, clarity must be achieved. However, respectfully. With choice on both our parts. Don’t get lost in the system. For those of us that understand the terminology – ‘don’t get lost in the bridge’. Or, as we have all heard – its about the journey, not the destination.
Stop, breathe – CHOOSE - act