One of the paramount problems that we have in science is our perspective on the natural world. We look at it and see that monkeys fight each other for a banana, i.e., and conclude that this behaviour is essentially native to the species and will always be true, just as true as a stone on the street will never move on its own. However, we never consider that what we see of the monkeys may be cultural behavior in the context of mutual and extrinsic interaction within a constraining environment. One of the main reasons why we box ourselves into this view of the natural world is because we cannot perceive Thoughts. Endowed with that faculty, we would have a higher perspective on life and more insights into the underpinning and source of behavior across the living.

Nevertheless, more detached observation would bring our attention on the fact that many wild animals arguably approach us empathetically on their own. A large number of the animals that approach us and come around our homes and shopping centers in daytime do so against wild instincts that we solely attribute to them, i.e. sparrows,  seagulls, brown doves, black birds, robins… The orange robin is a playful one who is intent on communicating with you but always from a safe distance, would keep sending your way utterances as you stand there, intently running in front of you and then away as you get close. It is on certain beaches, i.e. some New England beaches, where you can see these so-called wild animals, intently intermingling with humans, all resistance dropped, so much so that it is sometimes difficult to walk thru because they are everywhere around your legs and feet. If all you’ve ever seen of sparrows are the fleeting ones on your porch, your fence or the shrubs in your backyard, come to Boston harbor to experience their intent company as they come fearlessly into your human space.

And then there is the hummingbirds, literally jumping from one flower to the next, staying put in mid-air. But if all you’ve seen thus far from hummingbirds is their fleeting trips from one flower shrub to another, wait until you have to hold one of these little ones in the palm of your hand, all quiet, assuaged and unwilling to fly away, because it happened to have locked himself up in a room of your house, depleted his fast-running metabolic energy trying different ways out, and needed your help. And if you think that’s the end of the story, you might be surprised how he comes back to you every year around the same time, revisiting you and sitting quiet in your palm, because he is forever grateful to you that you once saved his life. Read true story here.

Hence, birds are telling us that forms of cultural organization are spread among the so-called wild creatures of the animal kingdom. The tremendous ingenuity they show in the building of their nests as Meadowlarks do, is another high mark of superior culture. Some would even forego building nests of any kind like cowbirds, to lay their eggs in other species’ nests entrusting the host family to raise their young! It looks like we might help our own culture if we start paying attention to all the other very vibrant cultures around us. If you don’t so believe, watch below the amazing dance of the starlings and ask yourself how do they do it?


Promote yourself the needed change in our Culture. If you would like to live in a better world, a world more friendly, more humane, more life-loving, more kindly, more compassionate, more good-natured, more indulgent, more trusting and trustworthy, more tolerant, more understanding, more quiet and clement with one another, with the animal life around us, with the planet that shelters us… that is on  you! Not others, but you. Because there will be no tango dance, if you never make a step yourself.


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