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What Can We Learn From Our Animal Friends?
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~Anatole France
- Our Pets, the Spiritual Teachers
We may not think that are pets have much to say, but nothing can be further from the truth. If we listen and pay attention, they have great wisdom and love to share with us. Just connect with them and you will understand what I am saying.
Even though, we, humans possess a large brain that allows us to make incredible technological marvels and wonders that wow the citizens of this planet, we still have a lot to learn about love. Many do not understand what love really is! We think love is something that is traded between different parties.
“I will love you if you do this for me. I will love you if you love me more! If you buy me that big house on top of that hill, I will love you.” Or, do you remember this from school? “I will be your best friend if you let me borrow that…”
What people do not understand is that this isn’t “real” love. Unconditional love doesn’t have any requirements. And we mustn’t forget this important fact:
There are no requirements for God’s love.
God loves us whether we love God in return. However, it is such a beautiful blessing to share our love with others! Those who do not share love don’t know what they’re missing. To me, this is Hell to the Soul. What can animals teach us about love?
They can teach us a great deal about unconditional love if we are open and willing. This is the key! If we get caught up in the concept of being far superior over animals, because we are at the top of the food chain, then we will probably not learn anything of value from them. We will not notice their kind acts of love and compassion that they show to each other, including other species of animals.
When I was in elementary school, I was very fortunate to have a teacher that had several different pets in the classroom. I do not remember the type of animals she had, but I do remember the special privilege of getting to spend time with these beautiful beings. We not only learned about the responsibility of taking care of a “living breathing” being, but we also learned to respect and honor these amazing creatures. Reflecting on this, I am truly grateful for this beautiful experience. Thank you for the opportunity to connect with these amazing beings of love. Let me share another example of how animals touch our lives.
Years ago, I watched a television program in which hardened criminals were given animals to take care of. I don’t remember the amount of time they spent with the animals, but I do remember the powerful changes that took place. Having to take care and to get to know one of the animals, one of the individuals was transformed by his relationship with the animal. Instead of being cold and uncaring, the unconditional love of the animal transformed him. He was no longer the cold selfish individual that he once was. I truly believe this animal helped him connect to the unconditional love that is within all of us. On the other hand, I also believe that we set the stage for potential trouble when we are disconnected from this love. That is why it is very important to have little reminders, now and again, about our true connection to love. I would now like to talk about an amazing gorilla named Koko.
I was first introduced to Koko during an anthropology class I had at the junior college. We watched an amazing video that shared the story of an incredible gorilla. Koko understands sign language and knows over one thousand signs. She also understands two thousand words of spoken English. What was very touching about Koko was her relationship with a tiny kitten she named “All Ball.” They loved spending time with each other. But one tragic day, her beloved friend was tragically killed by a car. Koko was devastated by the loss of her friend. She mourned his death. Thinking about this has brought tears to my eyes. My heart ached for Koko’s loss. On a positive note, it was amazing to see how unconditional love can transcend different species.
Koko has also met many celebrities, such as William Shatner, Robin Williams, Mr. Rogers, her favorite celebrity, and Betty White. In a CNN interview, Betty White was asked by Piers Morgan what her “greatest moment” was. She told Piers that her “greatest moment” was getting to spend time with Koko. Wow! I was blown away by this.
We often don’t realize how wonderful these teachers of unconditional love are until we are graced by their presence.
Both Koko and I were born in 1971. We both celebrated a wonderful 40th birthday last year. Koko enjoyed sushi and presents, while I celebrated my birthday in San Diego with a friend. Now, let me share a beautiful story about an amazing friendship between an orangutan and a hound dog.
While surfing facebook one day, I came across a photo of an orangutan with a hound dog. The photo showed Suryia, the orangutan, with his arm wrapped around Roscoe, the hound dog, in a wonderful embrace. Here, again, we see the demonstration of unconditional love between two different species.
During a usual routine of going to the river, an unusual event took place. Suryia and Roscue saw each other for the very first time and jumped into each other’s arms. It was like the reuniting of two long lost friends. It was more than obvious that these two amazing beings radiated unconditional love for one another. You only have to look at the photos or watch the videos to see this. I wipe a tear from my eye as I remember this. I would like to leave you with one last story.
I believe it was last month, or so, that I saw a touching video of two elephants reuniting. These two elephants named Shirley and Jenny were reunited after being apart for more than twenty years. They met each other at a circus almost twenty five years ago at the time of the video. Jenny was an infant from Asia, and Shirley became her adopted mother. In wanting to reconnect with each other, the two elephants began to bend the bars; however, a man by the name of Scott opened the gate, allowing the two elephants to reunite after more than twenty years of being apart. This beautiful friendship brought tears to my eyes. We can learn a lot about unconditional love from these beautiful teachers of love.
They say an elephant never forgets.
I believe they never forget the power of unconditional love.
It is our true nature.
It is the Great Universal Force that connects all together.