Kindness: What separates us from animals

On a writing site, someone posted our ugliest trait is our ability to injure our own, and to kill without purpose. This post continued to tell us all how there is nothing like it in any other animal, and we should learn from them.

A tip to writers who are including animals: we learn all our worst traits from them. The difference is our ability at higher reasoning and logic which can lead us to dumber leaps.

Hyenas and lions have a vendetta on par with the Capulet and Montague families. Hyenas get a kick out of killing cubs. They do not eat them. Lions will assassinate the matriarch, literally running through a sea of hyenas just to kill that one woman. After making the kill? The lion walks off, head held high, like, “Who wants to replace her?” Real mature.

Ants invented trench warfare. Fire ants are even worse. These creatures regularly go to war with colonies that aren’t their own. Thousands die each day to these wars. Fire ants are so bad that they’ve even taken down other animals and humans. They kill more people a year than sharks by several times over. It’s all about territory, power, and breeding. The good news is they generally eat what they kill. Way to teach the hyenas and lions some decency, fire ants. Coral, that we see as so precious, pulls the same territorial crap. I highly suggest watching, as their wars are pretty cool looking.

Wolves are cruel and immensely territorial. One of the funniest videos my dad has apparently seen was when a male wolf entered another’s territory and started mating with the alpha’s daughter. If you weren’t aware, while mating, canines get stuck, as a bulb forms and they can’t remove it until that bulb goes away. When the alpha caught them in the act, he chased after as vicious as a dad with a shotgun, except in this case the daughter accidentally trapped her suitor. Could you imagine your girlfriend’s dad opens the door and there’s nothing you can do about it for another five to ten minutes? You’re stuck. This has a tendency to end with the infiltrator dying.

There are numerous animals which eat their young. The spouse needs to flee with the children, or risk infanticide. There are quite a few insects which kill their mate during sex. Usually the woman kills the male. Fortunately, in more cases than not, it’s only taken figuratively for humans. They destroy our hearts, our bank accounts, and our social circles.

You know a trait a human has that animals don’t? True kindness. We have pictures of animals getting along with each other, but in almost every case they’re in similar situations and so there is companionship. They understand each other. There is so much food, there’s no reason for them to eat each other. This is opportunistic kindness, and dare I say, most of humanity only takes it this far.

True kindness is the ability to show kindness when our fellow man is acting more like an animal. You were deceived and lost a lot of money? I’m talking to the tune of tens of thousands a year of income. Say hello to that person every time you see them. Smile. Invite them out. Do not gossip about the black soul within their husk of a body. Do not start rumors that they’re a body snatcher. You will be told that you’re justified in doing those things, and by George, Scott, Henry, and Mr. Clean, you would be justified in doing it. But any animal would take that path.

I’ve been wronged many times. I inspire people, people take it, and they ditch until they require another fill up. It’s like a gas station, but I have feelings and it hurts when people come to me just to top off. Maybe I should take a hint from my local BP and put up a sign, “Free coffee with fill up.” Maybe we could actually chat.

There is one friend who is in and out of my life at her boyfriend’s leisure. I stuck around for her when my ex hated her. If I ditched this friend, the fantasizing part of me believes there’s a chance I’d be married now, but if dreams were horses we’d all be riders. I stuck around because I’m an idiot. Fast forward a year and a half, my friend finds a boyfriend. He hates me. She cuts off contact, unless she’s having a freak out and needs a pep talk. Then we chat for half an hour, she feels revitalized, and I’ll talk to her again in a month or two.

A very large part of me wanted to text her, “I was loyal to you when my girlfriend hated you. You ditched me the moment your boyfriend told you to. Go away.” But there would have been expletives. I’m just not that good of a person, like last night in Destiny when a guy tea bagged me in a match. I hunted him down and killed him three times in a row and returned the favor. It was sort of like watching the lion take out the hyena. If you don’t know what tea bagging is, you’re a better person for it.

But I didn’t do these horrible things. I didn’t say she should fly a kite, I didn’t swear at her, I didn’t tea bag her. I thought it, aside from the last part. But I didn’t act on it, because I am human, and I am not a slave to my baser instincts of pride, anger, and so on.

So the next time someone says animals are so much more refined than humans, call them out on their bullshit. Sure our higher thinking power allows us to do far more damaging things than animals can, but we’re capable of actually acting kind, of helping someone who will not help us back.

This is what the church service was the other day, sans the animals. I add that in because of my disdain of hippies. The true kindness is a work in progress.

Do good works, act kindly to people randomly and without reward, do not gossip, smile in the face of pain (you can also cry first, this is healthy and normal and I won’t make fun of you, as I enjoy a good weeping now and again). Be better than animals, love like God loves you, love like humans are capable of, and try not to hate with that same overwhelming ability.

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7 responses to “Kindness: What separates us from animals

  1. Woman are like that, once they are in a relationship their boyfriend/husband, nothing else matters. Don’t know why they do that. But kudos to you for keeping calm and letting it go.

    I feel like I have read this post (or something similar) on your blog before. Maybe it’s just a sense deja vu. Or maybe (and more likely :p) I am just losing it.

    • I’ll confess to the possibility of being cyclical. I’ve spoken about kindness. I’ve spoken about animal cruelty. Just read this post from someone, and was like, “What? Bull crap.” Anyway, I used to be like that. I don’t think that’s happening again.

  2. Excellent advice, Paul. I don’t see why people compare us to animals anyway – apples and oranges. Meaning we might all be fruits but we taste different.
    …there I go again admitting to my cannibalistic side. When will I learn?

    But seriously, good for you for letting it go. The Taoist in me says that the best way to teach is by example. Perhaps your friend will learn something from your actions – or inaction.

    • There are too many places I want to go with the taste. In one way, I’ve tasted people but not animals. In another I’ve tasted animals but not people. Hmm….

      She hasn’t learned from example for the past decade, I’m not expecting it to happen, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t love her all the same 😛 However, if I can use it to teach others, I will. The Taoists are pretty bad ass. They explain ideas I already try to follow through with very succinctly.

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