A Thought About Our “Animal Instincts”

I have been watching this series on Netflix called “The Kindness Diaries.” It is a real tear-jerker if you are someone like me who has managed to maintain some level of empathy and compassion for others despite what others have done to me and despite what I have been through and I believe it is something of a “must-watch” for people in general – it doesn’t delve terribly deeply into very “serious” issues, but it does mention them, and I think it’s important for more people to be aware of the various cruelties humans make other humans suffer through and I think it’s equally important to acknowledge that there is true kindness, compassion, and work being done toward peace and a better world in this world. With that very rambly sentence completed, I do have one main “issue” with this show – like most travel shows in which the “traveler” goes about on his “adventures,” the “traveler” is NECESSARILY a male. This highlights a very crucial point that isn’t directly addressed by these types of shows – that is, that although these shows are not in and of themselves misogynistic, the world at large IS; furthermore, it would be INCREDIBLY dangerous for a single woman to travel even from Alaska down through Canada and back down into the US on her own. I think that we need to start addressing that this IS an issue in the world, even in “civilized” countries – and that is something that is just NOT okay – and needless to say, it is not at all indicative of any kind of “kindness.”

At any rate, that is not the point I wanted to make in this post (of course!). I actually wanted to point out one succinct “issue” brought up not only by travelers in this kind of capacity but by all kinds of people in all areas of study and of life, etc. – that is, that we, as humans, try to “rise above our animal instincts.” This is often referenced with some kind of racial element involved – in this show in the episode I am talking about, that basic idea was articulated regarding the prior enslavement of dark-skinned people. HOWEVER, it seems interesting to me that we say NOT doing that to others is “rising above our animal instincts.” Is it? Do cats and dogs and wild animals enslave others of their species based on what color fur they have? Are certain “individuals” chastised and ignored because they have a different fur pattern? I am certainly no expert in biology or zoology or any field relating to the study of any types of animals. I know that birds use their “beautiful” plumage to attract mates. But do animals use the LACK of certain physical traits (things like skin / fur or eye color, etc.) against other animals of their own species? As far as I know, they don’t. If I am wrong, please let me know! I do not mean at all for this to be a “preachy” kind of blog – that is not at all what I am about and I know I simply have a tendency to come off that way (because that is just the way I speak and write). My intentions, however, are ultimately to get everybody “on the same page” regarding the discussion of certain ideas and treatment of others, etc. But that’s going off on yet another tangent!

At any rate, I just think it’s interesting that we think we are “higher” than animals in so many ways when they seem to prove how much more compassion and love they can have (even toward us!) seemingly “unconditionally” (I am not sure that I “believe” in anything like an “unconditional love,” at least from a “mortal” standpoint … which gets me into all kinds of trouble on all kinds of levels, so I’ll set that aside for now!). Again, if you know of an example that disproves me on this one, I would really love to know – so please comment if you know of such a thing! And please comment anyway! I would love to hear from anyone and everyone who is reading this! And with that, I will go back to cleaning and chopping veggies for dinner! I hope you are all having a happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world and I will be back SOON!

❤ Always, Beth


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