Tag Archives: perception

Can animals show love?

Ask any pet owner and they will tell you unequivocally, yes! Ask many behavioural scientists and they will say absolutely not! Who is right? The short answer? Both!

How can that be? Easy: perception. Now anyone who reads my blog a lot knows that I am a big believer in perception. How we perceive something is based on our background. When I was sick many years ago my dog curled up on my bed. She never left me. She would occasionally nip out for a potty break or to grab something to eat but she was always beside me while I healed. Why? In my world she was showing concern.

When I would train young animals, dogs in our family, I would always start out with food. It is a great motivator. But eventually I moved away from that and would only give praises. My animals were well trained. I never doubted that if I called for them to come, they would and there would be no food at the end. I even had one dog that ran loose on our walks but if she saw a person she would immediately run back to me and walk at my side. Once the person was out of sight and I gave her a nod she’d take off again. I never once doubted her. Was it love?

I’m not a scientist, I’m just a woman that loves words and I loved my animals. I believe they loved me. Perhaps we are anthropomorphizing by using the word ‘love’ but that’s all we have. We may not be able to express what the animals are actually feeling in their terms, all we can do is use ours.

The scientists are probably right it isn’t love. It’s more. Watch a documentary of elephants sometime. I did. In one, a very young elephant had gotten stuck in a mud hole. The mother acted in a manner to which we would refer to as being frantic. Think of a human mother with a child stuck down a manhole. The Park Rangers we’re eventually able to get the little one out and reunited with its mother. Again the reaction is one that you would equate to a human situation. I’m not lying. I was in tears.

Whales have been released from nets and there are videos of them racing to freedom and then returning to stop in front of the group that rescued them. Gratitude? There are examples of this all over the world. There are videos of it. The only way I can explain it is through emotion. How very human of me.

An Original Thought

I was looking through the new television programs for this fall and a thought struck me: where are the original programs? I am sure there are programs slated to be on the air that are unique but the majority are not.

They are redoing programs that were very popular in the 80s and 90s. The original actors are still alive and I wonder, what do they think of all of this. Some shows are actually bringing back the original actors after 20+ years. I’m curious to see how that translates. Successful shows have always gotten sequels and some of them have done amazingly well. Some have died an ignoble death within a few months. The television audience is a fickle one. Sometimes a really bad show can have a good actor in it and it will survive. Sometimes a really well written and well acted series can’t get a following and is cut. It is a mystery.

And that’s another thing, a successful show of one genre will spawn several competing shows with the same premise. For example: the Male/ Female Buddy System. Man and woman working together, fight, save each other, argue, sexual tension, problem solved. It is a formula that has been used to death.

I guess people are just more comfortable with what they know. The show MacGyver was an original when it came out. His name is even used today to explain quick, creative thinking to get out of a jam. I enjoyed it in the 80s and I’ve enjoyed the remake. Call me fickle!

Let’s face it, with all the issues going on in the world, television entertainment is not high on the list of importance, or it shouldn’t be. But this industry pulls in trillions of dollars and it can shape society. People are easily manipulated with the right propaganda. I am including myself in this. We become comfortable with people we trust and a lot of them are simply actors, hopefully good actors with integrity, but what are they selling? We invite them into our homes through our television and we believe them. Does Hollywood truly reflect society? And what does that say about us?

Oh, and just out of curiosity, which old television program would you like to see reimagined?

Forgiveness

 

He bore the cross

To pay for our sins

And what have we

Done since then?

We covet and kill

And pray to another

In the temple of money

We kneel!

But hope is not lost

He still believes

In the people we

Could become.

Ask for the sight

To see what is true

And pray that our God

Is forgiving.

Oops, my straitjacket is slipping . . .

It has been a very busy week and I don’t have a post ready for Sunday so I hope you don’t mind this Blast From My Past . . .

I originally posted this in September 2013. I hope you enjoy it.

Oops, my straitjacket is slipping…

When you look up at the stars at night do you feel homesick?  Okay, okay, bad joke.  Do you know once upon a time I laughed uproariously at that joke.  I ran around and told all my preteen friends.  Yes, it’s that old.  And so am I.

As we age our funny bone seems to migrate.  For some people it ends up around the nether regions.  For others humour becomes more cerebral.  I don’t know the equation to what’s funny.  I don’t even know what makes me laugh until I am actually laughing.  When was the last time you laughed so hard there were tears running down your face?  Do you remember the knee slapping, rib tickling, gut wrenching guffaws you used to hear when a group of people got together to watch a comedy film?  I don’t, at least not recently.  The last time I had one of those all-encompassing, falling on the floor cackles was watching an old movie.

The movie was ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.  I don’t remember the movie.  I don’t even know if it was actually a comedy.  What I do remember is my boyfriend and I beating on the furniture.  We were laughing so hard we were crying.  I remember him falling on the floor and not able to catch his breath.  But I don’t remember the movie.  I remember that there was a series but it appeared to be about teenage angst (and vampire slaying) I wasn’t interested.  I had enough of that when I was a teenager! (The angst not the slaying!) Don’t get me wrong I enjoy comedy.  I’ve been known to crack a smile and even show teeth.  I just haven’t had a really good belly laugh in a very long time.

Laughter is a universal language.  It crosses borders and brings people together.  It can also alienate people and cause others to commit various forms of harm.  Of course that in itself can be funny!  But I digress.  I don’t know of any culture that doesn’t have some form of laughter.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could laugh more and shoot less?  We spend so much of our time behaving according to the narrow dictates of societal decorum that when we let loose it can be epic!  Find the time to laugh.  A really good guffaw exercises the whole body!