“When the modern, western human knocks on the door of his own house, he will find nobody home”
Two little dogs
On my way to the supermarket, I see them sniffling around with their little noses in a termite mound. Two very small street dogs looking restless for food, just below the gate of my house. Nearby I see a cheap plastic bag. Aiaiai I think, but I manage to continue my steps. Luckily they don’t look bad. Their skin looks healthy but it is clear to me they have been dumped. I manage to keep going, I realize surprised, it is quite something. But did I really?
When I come back with my groceries they are sleeping on the big plastic bag, in which they have most likely been transported. My mind is overwhelmed with all kind of thoughts to what is going to happen to them. And it is already settled. One moment later I walk through my gate with 2 puppies, one under every arm. They were scared up when I grabbed them in their neck, trying to bite, escape, with panic in their very young eyes, trembling of fear. “No Alina, take them back”, Rama tells me through the phone, trying to talk some sense to me, because I already heave 2 dogs and 2 cats, lack of time, and of course there are costs. He is right, but I can’t do it.
Five weeks later, Sando’s dogtraining is starting. He is the trainer I am looking for and I am very lucky to have met him in Tanzania. He understands the dog’s mind well and is full of creative solutions to turn the dogs into fine companions and “program” them into guard dogs. He works mainly with rewarding them. No beating and no emotional disapproving. A disapproval is only saying no or down in a powerful way, that’s all. After that I let go of it, knowing that the result will come by repeating and not by wanting them to obey directly. When people demand direct approval from a dog, they usually start using violence, mostly by beating them. It is beautiful to see how in contact with the little dogs, the fear in contact is disappearing and they are also not abusing me. With abuse I mean that they don’t care about me. I am the boss, that’s clear.
There is no difference with our own mind
Well, now it comes of course.
There is no difference with our own mind. In exactly the same way, until the day of today, we are being programmed by keeping on repeating. This is good, this is not good. This will cause approving little laughs, this will cause an unsatisfied look. This calls appreciation and pride and that will cause disapproval or ignoring. That what we identify with, and what we call our personality, will finally be determined by the repetition of successful strategies. That is who I am. And when we suddenly act differently, we feel uncomfortable and we directly shout out: “this is not who I am. I don’t know that came upon me”.