Saturday, 8 September 2012
What squirrels can teach the rest of us about life and about survival
Having spent a most of my life living in urban environments, I can say that I have never had much appreciation for animals of any kind. And as such, I have always viewed squirrels as a life form only slightly above that of a cockroach! I have also noticed over the years that people (in large urban areas) also tend to view squirrels as a life form at or less than that of a cockroach. I have actually seen "soccer moms" in their SUVs that see a squirrel in the middle of the road, and who accelerate in an attempt to run them over! To me, that is sickening as it is a sad commentary of what some urbanites have become.
The squirrel is the one wild animal that exists in the urban (and rural) wild that actually shares some of the characteristics of humans, at least to a degree. Their "paws" are actually more human-like than that of a dog or a cat. They actually have "fingers" that at least to a degree, resemble that of a human hand. Even their male/female genitals also bare some similarity to that of a human's genitals. Squirrels also communicate using a form of sign language...some of which I have learned over the years, in my experience of relating to them. I've read online that there are some who equate the intellectual capabilities of a squirrel to that of a dog. In my experience of dealing with them, I can agree with that statement!
For example, if I happen to enounter a squirrel while walking along a pedestrian pathway, I can look at one in the eyes, and take one hand (sometimes both hands) and tap my chest with it. Seven times out of ten, a squirrel that is receptive will look back at me and will also tap its chest, and tilt his head. To them, they now understand that I am interested in feeding them. At that point, I take a shelled-peanut (unsalted) out of my bag and I show it to them. At that point, the squirrel will often move in my direction so that I can feed it to him/her. In some cases (1/5 times), the squirrel will come close enough so I can feed it directly to its mouth! Once the squirrel takes the peanut, it will either eat it right there, or it will move to bury the peanut in a location of choice. Such an experience is a satisfying one. My parents never knew I could do this in a large urban environment, and so they never taught me this basic and simplistic activity! At age 5, I would have loved to have known how to do this! Instead, I learned it many years later.
So, what is the point of this blog post? My point is that most urbanites have lost touch with their basic instincts and their basic HUMANITY! Most young people only care about the next gadget that they want to purchase on the market such as iPhones, iMACs, late model BMWs/Mercedes, or the latest "fall fashion" clothing (sweaters/jackets) even if the tempurature is still 90+ degrees. What these poor souls do not understand is just how FUN the simple and natural things in life can be!
When we, as human beings, learn to relate to some of the wild nature around us, we become better and happier human beings! Even the hardcore humanists understand this concept to a degree.
Aside from the mental and spiritual aspects of relating to animals, there are some lessons we can learn from squirrels in particular. Most people have heard that squirrels are "frugal" right?! In some cases, I have seen this to be true, and in other cases, I have noticed squirrels that eat nearly everything I give them right in front of me. However, if I put a handful of peanuts in front of them, they will eat a few and then bury the rest. Squirrels are indeed good accountants (for the most part). Although, some of them bury their peanuts and then (no doubt) forget where they buried them for future reference!
Other things that I have learned from squirrels is that they are early morning risers, and they maintain daily schedules much like that of a responsible human businessman! In large urban areas, most yuppies only rise early when they have to be at the office early. But, on most off days, many yuppies will consume copious amounts alcohol, etc well into the wee hours of the morning, and wake up at or well past noon. A squirrel on the other hand will arrive daily to his/her feeding cache at the SAME time whether it be in the morning, noon, or at night. That is just how intelligent and responsible they can be.
Indeed, the survival instincts that squirrels have are some of that which many humans have lost! It is time to rediscover the things of God! Appreciation of nature is just one aspect of that process. I do not advocate the worship of nature, but I do advocate the appreciation of it. Even if you have no interest in relating to or feeding squirrels in particular, there are plenty of other ways in which you can connect with the source, and to come face to face with God!