Life lessons learned from our furry and feathered friends
I’ve always been an animal lover since young. Having dogs, hamsters, squirrels, beetles, caterpillars, fish, terrapins etc. as pets was a very natural thing for me at home. Spending so much time with animals, I’ve often wondered what my pets would say to me if only they could talk. Then again, I’ve also realized that communication doesn’t always have to be verbal. As we know, non-verbal communication can be even more effective than verbal communication. Here are some life lessons I’ve learned from our amazing creatures:
(a) Just by observing a colony of ants, they can really carry heavy loads relative to their size and body weight. They are efficient and can move things quickly. They are a workforce that can perform large jobs in a short time, and everyone has their own unique “role” to play in the colony. To me, this reminds me of this saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
If ants could talk, they would be saying, “Don’t complain if the task is too big for you, think of how you can overcome it step-by-step, find someone like-minded who can help you along the way, think of the benefits of the end goal, and very soon, you’ll have achieved what you’ve wanted to achieve for the team.”
(b) I’ve always been intrigued by how birds recognize their migratory flight path. It appears that at the right time of the year, birds would always take a similar route in search for food and nesting. They would fly hundreds and hundreds of kilometres just to get there. Often times, there’s also a flight formation among the birds during this journey.
If birds could talk, I’m sure they’d be saying, “Everything worthwhile takes effort to achieve; fight for it, prepare for it, and if possible, take someone along with you to enjoy the journey.”
(c) Some species of bears, particularly the polar bear, hi”bear”nate for long periods of sleep between 4 to 8 months. They are practically inactive, no eating, no drinking and no urinating either. Unbelievable! What I’ve learned from these beautiful animals is that they have a sophisticated internal system which helps them to regulate and prepare for these long periods of fasting. Besides, when they emerge from hibernation, they actually recover really well from being deprived of food and water.
If polar bears could talk, they might just be saying, “It’s ok to take a break, even if it’s a longer one, make full use of it to renew, recharge and then rediscover what possibilities ahead are for you. Make sure you have a strong internal system – relook your values, explore what drives you and what keeps you going, and guess what, it’s ok to be doing all this alone, too. Soon, you’ll be emerging stronger and braver.”
Well, if only animals could talk, I’m sure they’d be doing TED talks, public online webinars and motivational speeches, too. But for now, I’m just happy observing them, learning more about them in documentaries, and having them around me at home.
Josephine PL Ong