Do all prepubescent boys go through a reptile phase or is mine more odd than most? Just one of the may questions I ask myself of a daily basis. My youngest parasite is obsessed with all kinds of animals. I just seems to be reptiles right now. We currently have 2 dogs, 1 bird, 1 very large lizard, and a bunch of crickets. Well I guess you can’t count the crickets since they are actually food for the lizard, but the darn things still have to be fed so in my book they count. If you require feeding then in my book- you’re a pet. He really wants a snake, but mama had to put her foot down somewhere. Snakes require mice as food and crickets are one thing, but cute little mice is another for me.
Because of his obsession with animals every time I walk into a room with a TV it’s on Animal Planet. Now this is a great channel and very educational if you love seeing lions eating antelopes on a regular basis. I’m all for educational and my kids learning, but sometimes it actually looks more like a slasher film when I enter the room. I feel like singing The Lion King’s theme song “The Circle of Life” every time I walk in now. I love how they made that song so beautiful and inspirational when it’s actually talking about things eating other things. It did get me thinking though.
Are you a predator or a prey?
Humans seem to be one of the few animals which can actually be both. I myself don’t particularly like being prey. I like being and staying on top of the food chain. I have never been scared of bugs. I’ve never squealed at the sight of one. If I’m bigger than it – I win. My daughter has a tendency to squeal which drives me crazy. It’s a bug for Christs sake – just squish it. Now on the same token I don’t enjoy swimming in the ocean above my waste (I still hear the Jaws music playing in my head) and I don’t want to spend my free time roaming about on the Serengeti Plain. There are things that can actually eat me there – so nope not for me!!
Now on the same token there are humans out there that consider other humans prey. These are the scary people. These are the people that we hear about on the news. Now if you listen to the news you would think they are every where, but in reality they are few and far between. Most people are actually very nice people when you let them. We have just as a society decided not to publicize the good, but instead only spotlight and headline the bad. So if you only watch the news you now have the idea that there is a bad guy around every corner and waiting outside of every door when in reality it’s just not true. It’s true they are out there, but probably just not currently hiding in your bushes. If they are hiding in your bushes on a regular basis- then it might be time to pick up and move.
What scares me most about our current society is because of computers and social media we are actually losing the ability to spot the actual predators. I believe that’s really why we see them everywhere now. We sit behind computers and phones all day typing emails, texts, replying to Facebook posts or tweets, and in general never actually speaking to another living human being. Because we are losing the ability to communicate face to face it’s becoming harder to spot the predators. I see this very scary phenomenon being played out in my parasites currently and it scares me more than actually roaming about the Serengeti Plain or the Jaws music.
Is this lack of communication actually turning us all into prey? Have we forgotten there’s more to communication than just words on a page?
Before all of the gadgets and electronics we had to actually communicate. Actual communications requires more than just words. It consists of voice tones, eye contact, and body language that enhance or teach us about the actual words. Yes I know we have emoji’s that help convey emotions, but a winking smiley face just doesn’t convey the same thing as a voice going up and a wink to say “yes- I am a smartass” It helps, but it just can’t replace. There are so many mis-communications and misunderstandings today, because of lack of emotions in the written word.
There’s also an old saying that the eyes are the window to the soul. This saying is very true. How many times in your life have you looked into someone’s eyes and the hair on the back on your neck stood up? I’ve had a few where not only the hair on the back of my neck stood up. but I felt like static electricity had overwhelmed my body and I looked like I was back in the 80’s and used a whole bottle of hairspray to stand my hair on end. My body goes into “Danger Will Robinson- Danger” mode. I’m a believer in trusting that emotion and fleeing. We have a primeval ability to spot predators, but are we losing it? Walk around today and watch how many people don’t actually make eye contact. We walk around like zombie’s staring at our feet or off into space. I try to smile, say hello, thank you, or give a compliment and they just walk off in their zombie state. I pray for those people and that they don’t bump into an actual predator anytime soon because they have officially become prey. I look at them and expect them to start skipping off like an antelope any minute.
So how do we pass on this primeval “Danger Will Robinson- Danger” ability to our next generation when they actually very rarely speak to another living soul, other than texts or through a computer, without raising them to be scared of the whole human race? This is the question? I can’t protect them from everything, but I do my best to teach them these:
1) Teach them to make eye contact- ALWAYS!! Everyone they walk by- look them in the eye. If eyes are the window of the soul then teaching them to make eye contact will allow them to spot the predators, but that most humans are good. Predators also don’t usually like people who make eye contact. It means they are strong enough to fight for survival and that’s not as easy. There’s a reason in nature that the predators always get the weakest in the pack- It takes less energy!
2) Teach them a firm handshake- This seems to be a lost art based on how many I get in today’s world from men and women that make me go – ICK! If you can’t even shake my hand firmly- then you obviously aren’t strong enough to protect yourself. A firm handshake shows the world you are strong. I’m in sales so when I get a weak handshake I almost feel bad about the negotiations to come for them- I said almost!
3) Teach them to always trust their gut, but don’t walk around scared. I’ve always lived by the adage that if it feels icky-it probably is. None of us have ever gotten in a situation that was bad that at some point prior our tummy or back of our neck didn’t feel it coming- we just choose to ignore. Teach them you’ll apologize later if need be, but if they feel it’s icky then they have your permission to act on it. Don’t ever allow them to ignore those- remember that primeval stuff about fight or flight- they are there for a reason.
Now I am not by any means saying you can protect them from everything- cause you can’t- but teaching them a few basic human communication skills will help in today’s world. They seem to be becoming a lost art and if they are going to have to walk around the Serengeti Plain at least be in the front of the pack- it’s safer there.