“Your pet has a purpose, to survive … but it can’t talk about it, only live it. You, on the other hand, also have a purpose and can talk about it and also live it” Ken Pierce
I came out of the grocery store and was loading my car when a middle-aged couple went peddling by on their bicycles. The woman’s bike had one of those attached carts for carrying kids. No kids in this one… instead a buckled in, black, giant poodle scanning the scenery. Last week in a small city in Eastern Canada two small boys were asphyxiated while they slept by an African Rock Python, which had escaped from a pet store downstairs.
Scary Pet Facts
These events were notable to me because The Globe and Mail newspaper had just done a full-featured article on the emerging role of pets in human life.
Canadians apparently spend over 6.3 billion dollars each year on their pets about $800 million more than on childcare! The article explores the sweeping social changes that have bonded us to our domestic ‘companions‘ – for better and worse.
For better and worse is truthful. Here are a few numbers to get you thinking. The ratio of resources required by one medium sized dog versus one sport utility vehicle = 1:1.
The number of tons of pet food Canadians will buy this year = 500,000 tons.
The number of tons of solid waste Canadian dogs produce annually = 620,000 tons
The costs of doggie day care for a month $500.
The number of birds an American cat alone kills annually -=30 to 47.
The number of birds American cats alone kill annually in the US – 1.4 to 3-7 billion.
Many pet owners will tell you they have a pet because they get unconditional love from their pet. How long would that unconditional love would last if you stopped feeding and petting them? Like every animal our pets are wired to survive and so will be loyal to whoever is loyal to them… by feeding and petting them.
The same is true of humans. All human love is conditional; and the condition is always the same, I will help you survive if you help me survive. The only differences are in the forms of help. You want to be loved within your value system and I want to be loved inside mine. Since every person has a unique value system, we need to negotiate constantly.
As time passes we learn their value system is different from ours. This helps us dissolve our own value system and grow gratitude for our life as it is not as we want it to be. This realization developed into appreciation for them and their unique value system because it has helped us grow our self worth, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Because You Exist
You were born believing you were worthy of love because you existed… not because you were smart, cute or strong. Every person comes with that belief. The closest you can get to that experience on this planet is with an animal who doesn’t really speak your mother tongue and has a very simple, specific value system; food and safety. People, on the other hand, have very complex, complicated value systems.
In truth, pets help us survive in important ways. They remind us we are lovable and loved just because we exist. This motivates us to continue our dreams, our purpose and our life. While pets have a huge cost to our society and our environment, they equally provide these huge benefits in the personal growth of individuals.
“Pets are tools for building self worth and therefore purposeful.” Ken Pierce
Our challenge will be to drop our infatuation and resentment of pets and see them for what they are … a tool for specific individuals to build and sustain their levels of self-worth so they can be more purposeful.
Check out the “Take Away Tool” below to discover how your pet serves you. If I can assist feel free to contact me.
POINTS TO PONDER AND REMEMBER:
1. Pets have a very simple and specific value system… safety and food.
2. Humans have a very complex and complicated value system.
3. Pets and humans only operate within their own value system.
4. Pets have equal costs and benefits to us and our environment.
5. Pets do not provide unconditional love to humans.
6. Pets act as a learning tool for some people to learn self worth.
7. Humans also act as a learning tool for people to learn self worth.
YOUR TAKE AWAY TOOL:
“How Your Pet Serves You!”
Step 1: Identify a special memory when you spent time alone with your pet. Recall the details of that event.
Step 2: Identify at least one specific way being with your pet served you at that moment.
(Note: You will find these in one or more of the seven areas of life. For example, it could be that your spirit was rejuvenated, or you felt good about yourself; or you got a useful insight, or you found a way to save a few dollars; or you appreciated someone more in your life; or you felt gratitude for a family member; or maybe you just caught your breath and relaxed.)
Step 3: Now go to three other special memories of being with your pet and do the same thing. Take the four memories and notice how your pet serves to raise your self worth, live your life and be purposeful.