“And still, even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth:
'You owe me.'
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky." - Hafiz
During a short break during this weekend’s workshop at Elysian Fields Farm, I was so fortunate to have a conversation with a participant named Chris. Chris is a professional dog trainer who specializes in reward-based training. She is also the owner of a very lucky mule named Gus, and one of those people you just feel glad to meet. Her demeanor is humble, her affect welcoming, and her words the perfect blend of poignancy and humor. I wished we could’ve talked for hours.
We had a brief chat about the dynamic relationship between patience, processing, and training. That’s when Chris reminded me of a simple, sometimes uncomfortable, but inescapable truth:
Humans are the only species that dominate purely for the sake of dominating.
No other species on the planet controls for sport. Hierarchies exist in nature, of course, but only to serve fundamental survival needs (like eating). Why do we, as humans, feel a need to exert power for power’s sake? What do we gain by subjugating another living being? Haven’t we the tools and experience to devote our lives to being with others, rather than doing something to them?
From domesticated and wild animals, to flowers and water and trees...to other human beings! How often do we acknowledge and celebrate what it means to be here together: living, dying, loving, and being loved?
We’ve evolved with the ability to act intelligently, responsibly, and mercifully. We should realize the choices we’ve been given, as “predators”, in this day in age. We have the capacity to choose gratitude over greed, benevolence over shame, and empathy over indifference.
If you are reading this, please join me in taking a moment to really open your heart to someone or something today. Be brave enough to receive. Listen with your whole body. Feel the light that comes pouring through!