I came across a beautiful photo on the internet, of a lady crying about missing her dog on her wedding day. I was really attracted by the photo and my friend Maria (who made the photo for the article) said: “ShimonK, why do we really have such affinity towards animals (our pets), can we not love the way animals do?” This spurred me to research, to ask a lot of people these questions:
- Why do you love your animal so much?
- Why does your animal love you so much?
The responses I received grouped themselves into three (3). This really got me thinking and comparing it to the love we, humans, have for ourselves. We can use these to improve our relationships.
Here is what I got
When I make mistakes and I am sad, my dog does not criticize me. It recognizes that I am sad and snuggle against me, trying to cheer me up! That makes me feel better.
The first rule in Dale Carnegie’s how to win friends is to avoid criticism, complain and condemn. The moment someone goes into defensive mode, that means that possibly he or she is being criticized. Gentle correction hardly leads to defensive mode except in people who are already used to defense possibly out of life experience.
One way of avoiding such criticism is by asking questions. Always try to see things from the side of people. Asking questions should be such that makes people feel that you are standing with them and not against them.
MY ANIMAL GIVES ME SO MUCH UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
Unconditional? Seriously? I do not really think it is unconditional because you got to hold your pet close, feed and clean it up before it will recognize you as its owner.
This is not an art of unconditional but the art of giving back. You got to spend time with the animal for it to get accustomed to you.
Do we really spend such time and energy on people we love and are in relationship with? How fruitful are such times? Have we lost ourselves to work, smartphones, social media?
Do we really recognize the effort people are making for our own good? Are we giving back? Or do we feel like only ourselves (I, me, myself) deserve to be loved and not to love?
Another thing about unconditional “love” is that it involves seeing more of the good aspect than the negative aspect of people, recognizing and counting more the good they have done to us.
Lot of people have made a quote that people would prefer to see that one thing you did not do than the 99 things you did. This is true of men but not of dogs, cats, etc.
The question is: is this natural? No. we are usually the ones who choose to be so.
MY ANIMAL/PET IS SO LOYAL AND SUBMISSIVE TO ME
Implicit control is always more powerful than an explicit one. I know someone whom everybody rarely rejects a request to carry out his orders but he does not assume any authoritative position.
There is power in humility and display of authority can make people loathe you the more. The article “THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT IN LEADERSHIP (AND HOW YOU CAN USE IT TO BECOME A LEADER)” advised that leadership exhibited should be inspiring and not commanding.
Have you ever thought of this: because of your dog’s loyalty, you are willing to give it whatever it wants? You serve, cherish, appreciate your animal all because it serves you. True love, loyalty, trust and service are two-way affairs, give and take.
How do we handle our loved ones who are undergoing tough times? Do we try to solve the problem, reduce their stress or do we aggravate them in a bid to prove how wrong they were? Do we try to show them what they ought to or ought not to have done?
I do not mean that we should not analyze why someone failed but we should not do so at the moment they are sad. We should rather comfort and find ways to ameliorate the challenges. Sometimes, we get so lost in the quest to analyze a failure that we do not come up with any solution at all!
Even though we might not get such uncompromising and unflinchingly loyalty from man (due to our complex and complicated breed) we should give something powerfully close to these three by keeping up our loyalty, love as we are loved, be humble and criticize less.
Like Maria, said: “until you love an animal, part of your soul remains unawaken”, truly unawaken yourself to selfless, unflinching loyalty and love of an animal! Learn from these and make decision to improve every of your relationships.
Do you have any comments or contributions? What do you think? Put it down in the comment section or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org