Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Alpha Animals

Do dogs ever ask themselves whether they have done the right thing to please their alphas, or are they more confident in their actions than we? Do they wait around all day, feeling insecure when their alphas are away?
I think they do, and that we are really no less needy of companionship than are most other mammals. We have need for familiar touch, taste and scent of those in our packs of people.

We have been led to believe that mutual need in community is a weakness in our human natures. Some have gone so far as to label mutual dependence on another as an illness. My husband likes to call our relationship co-dependability, rather than co-dependence. I am blessed that he honors our need for each other, though both of us can sometimes feel burdened by our mutual commitment to helping each other be our best selves.

I don't think humans are any less evolved because we still act like other mammals. In fact, I think we've done ourselves and others a disservice by pretending that this fantasy about our superiority is a good thing.  Early in our relationship, my husband clarified what he believed about the difference between us and other animals. He declared, "Humans have the ability to say no." I think this sort of sums it up.

I have noticed that, even a dog can be taught to deny itself immediate gratification, when taught to do so by a firm, yet responsibly compassionate alpha. The sad thing in denying our animal underpinnings is that we fail to see that dogs are best taught by observing the actions of others. If parents would strive to be better alpha animals, perhaps we'd be creating humans that act less like wild beasts.

A granddaughter recently said to me, "Granny, you said that you taught my mama to cook, but she said that you didn't." My reply to her, "I cooked while she watched and helped. That is how poor people teach their children. We didn't have the money to send her for lessons in everything." If we focus on walking in the direction we want our children to follow, maybe we will wear a path that they will feel is a comfortable permanent home. Even when we are gone, they will wear our spirits on the insides of themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment