As taught by nature

21 Jun 2022

After the litter of Painted Dog pups is born, they're routinely left at the burrow with one adult guardian keeping watch while the rest of the adults head out hunting.

One such day, the adult-in-charge discovers a dangerous snake has entered the burrow and their home in the scrub is no longer safe. He makes the decision to journey the pups across the open savannah to set up home elsewhere.

As he is herding the pups across the savannah, the other dogs are making their way back from the hunt and spot the risky manoeuvre in progress.

Here is where us humans can take inspiration from the natural world.

There is not a moment of doubt, questioning or undermining as the elders and parents join in shepherding the pups to safety.

In a human equivalent of this story, each adult would have their two cents to throw in: "Why are you moving the pups?",
"Are you sure the snake was a serious?",
"I think we should go this way",
"You should have waited until we returned".

Such is the disposition of the intellect: critiquing, analysing, judging, forming opinion and more often than not, believing it knows more or better than others.

What predominantly guides nature is beyond the intellect: it is intelligence beyond knowledge (wisdom). Most of the natural world lives this way effortlessly because it is free from the tyranny of 'I', the egoic intellect that perceives itself as separate from all else.

As humans, we must wrangle this monkey mind in order to access the trusting, knowing wisdom that nature reveals is possible.

The invitation is not to be without thought or intelligent enquiry. The invitation is to consider where in our lives we can slow down the cogs of our thinking machine to allow a little more space for life to happen in its own way.

Can we allow our loved ones to live life on their terms without our judgment?

Can we offer the benefit of the doubt more often than we revert to cynicism?

Can we be humble enough to assume that our way is no better than any other way?

Gratitude to David Attenborough for connecting me with the Painted Dogs.