Social Beings
FTLComm - Tisdale - April 2, 2001
Many times Ensign has done picture essays about the relationships between humans and their best friends. This picture shows a scene that happens at least twice a day, this picture was taken at 8:30 this morning. A man and his dog come out on to the field for a few minutes the dog gets some exercise the man gets out of the house and together they share a time of play and interact with one another. It is a joy to see this ritual repeated each day, morning and late evening every single day.

Moments after this picture was taken a lady came by with a leach and on the end of it a tiny ball of fur scampered along they two were out to get some fresh air and share an experience.

It is remarkable how complicated we all want to think of each of our existence yet really so much of life is really pretty simple. Yesterday a pair of klutz prone Chinese pilots did a routine intercept on a US Navy electronic intelligence aircraft over the South China sea. Instead of completing the mission and letting the US crew new they were being monitored one of the Chinese pilots actually clipped the wing on the converted Lockheed Electra. That pilot lost his plane and is missing, the US Navy aircraft did an emergency landing at a Chinese military base. Tense situation for the US with a plane and its crew in custody and an atmosphere of sabre rattling in Washington. CNN shows a picture of the US president getting off the Marine helicopter near the Whitehouse and in his right hand is a leash and with him his dog.

The reason for the spy plane being over the South China sea illustrates the complex system of how humans work together to protect themselves and their way of life. People by their nature can accomplish great and sometimes terrible things, because they are social beings who can establish a course of action and give themselves to that cause.

In the animal kingdom this social organisation is abundantly obvious among a wide rang of life forms. Horses and dogs have social systems so like our own that they can readily become part of our social order or perhaps we can become part of theirs. We really and truly need to think about our interdependence, not just upon dogs and horse but upon our relationship with each other.

Dogs have a way of giving unconditional loyalty to the humans they associate with, with communications at its most basic level that relationship depends on trust and shared goals, dependencies. But look at those around you and consider your shared dependencies on each other to accomplish tasks, have a fulfilled life and reasonable goals and expectations. Much can be learned from human relationships with dogs. The most important lesson is that of trust and taking the others in the relationship for being themselves, no effort to alter or change others only to appreciate them and compliment their abilities with your own toward a shared goal and objective.

When you accept yourself for being what you are and when you look at those closest to you and accept them for being what they are and make no effort to remodel them you are well on the way to being a successful human being.

By Timothy W. Shire
graduate diploma in guidance and counselling