Observations & meditations on modern life

Universal principles (pt.1)

Animals will always be a corner-stone in everything that I learn and understand, because I’m convinced that there is a reason that we have evolved together and live overlapping lives and I really don’t believe that it’s just a matter of “we are different because we are humans”.

I spent a good few hours yesterday in the most incredible conversation with a pet nutritionist/trainer via Instagram (side note – I love how social media can connect us with people in other places who we may never have known about otherwise). These trainers are two amazing people, and I’m not just talking about their ability to train dogs and give nutritional advice.

Watching them, learning from them, and talking to them, I can see that the aim here is to teach dogs just like I aim to teach humans to understand and overcome fear. It’s not just a matter of “training”, and that’s what makes these two such exceptional people. Just like humans, animals do respond to genuine care. Being able to talk to someone else who works in a different field but applies the same principle in such a real and fascinating way just makes my heart sing. Why? Because the intention here is the same. The intention here is to understand fears with compassion, change perspective, and exchange ideas on how we go about doing that.

The exchange of ideas and interests is something I feel is one of the most important things to promote in our lives. I believe that if we all started genuinely learning off one another, we’d find far more common ground between people and different industries and the whole system of stereotypes and prejudice could come crashing down. Big statement, I know. But I do think that all animals, including us, respond positively to a real interest in each other. We respond to love. We can thrive off one another. We don’t live separate lives. We live with other animals. We live with other people. The more we can learn, the more we can develop in every direction. I desperately want to learn about and find that common ground. I know it’s there, rooted somewhere in compassion, drive and our ability to learn and absorb knowledge.

However, like most things, there’s a flip side and unfortunately things are not always as simple as they sound. They should be, but we’re human and we have a tendency to complicate things and construe different meanings of things so I thought I’d unpack this a little more…

The exchange of information is important, and I will always stand by that. However, I’m talking about our ability to really delve into something and become passionate about it, research it, study it, and become truly knowledgeable about it and then share it. The part of all of this that I find magical is what can be created when two people in separate areas of interest can come together and discover something new as a product of interest and collaboration. I can fuel myself to learn with the knowledge of others, and that’s very exciting, but I have to know the line between my opinion and someone else’s knowledge.

Nobody needs to be an expert, nobody will become an expert overnight, and I’m not saying that it’s at all necessary to have read twenty books before sharing one opinion on one thing. There is a huge difference between the exchange of well-informed information based on experience, and the exchange of loud opinions. Sharing information, that really can and will affect another person, has to be well informed or else we’ll end up living in a world where the blind lead the blind, and nobody can tell who is sharing grounded and balanced knowledge and who is sharing something they learned in a matter of ten minutes. I’m not going to leap into a conversation and share misinformed opinions left, right and centre, because the damage that can be done there is also worth considering.

What it comes down to is weighing up our ability to learn, our desire to be heard, and our inherent connection to one another. To share something emphatically we need sensitivity, we need respect, we need humility, and we need intellectual curiosity. I’m all for engaging in conversation and the exchange of ideas to broaden our minds, but it comes with an inherent respect for the fact that opinions can change, and we can only find connection and collaboration when we accept flexibility within ourselves without it threatening our sense of self. Be confident in who you are inside and out, and suddenly the world becomes an exhilarating place of energy, connection, compassion and strength.

Universal principles (pt.2) CLICK HERE

Posted on Friday, November 15, 2019
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Anjali Singh-Mitter | BA (Hons.), Dip. Hyp., Dip. CBT | GHR & GHSC, CNHC
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