What Can Dogs Teach Us About Our Problems?

There is no doubt that dogs are endearing animals. Those of us who love them in a special way and have shared unforgettable moments with them  know how to see the wisdom that their behavior contains.

People, like dogs, are also animals. It is true that we can make more complex reasoning or use more precise language but that does not exempt us from being inhabitants of the planet, like them.

The problem has been that the human being, especially in recent centuries, has been believed to be the center of the Universe. This inordinate conception of our importance as a species has been -in many cases- responsible for a multitude of disorders, discomforts, and disturbances.

The good news is that no being, human, dog, or feline is that important. We simply inhabit the planet, we have been granted the great privilege of living and we are here to adapt as best as possible to the given conditions. An adaptation in which our behavioral part comes into play, but also the emotional and physiological.

It wouldn’t hurt if we learned more about dogs. The reader will think that we have gone crazy, but it is not like that. Already the well-known philosopher Diogenes realized all this and was nicknamed “The Dog” because he had learned to downplay himself and ego, to be more spontaneous and shameless, more impudent and, above all, to know how to distinguish friends of enemies.

Diogenes and the dogs

Diogenes praised the virtues of dogs and tried to imitate them, to behave like them. To get to behave in this way, he had to begin to approach his problems as if he were really a dog and this helped him to better manage the  importance  he attached to events,  both external and internal. He lived in poverty, specifically in a jar, he was always surrounded by his family, the dogs, and even relieved himself in public.

He put into practice the ideal of the wise man through numerous anecdotes : lonely life, naked and with no home but a barrel, constantly renouncing all the goods created by human society. He did it because he understood that he did not need them to live.

Diogenes pretended to exercise a radical idea of ​​freedom, like dogs, he was shameless and fervently opposed and even attacking established social norms, traditional ways of life.

Those who began to nickname Diogenes as “the dog” wanted, in reality, to insult him but as a good dog, Diogenes did not give it importance and even took pride in his qualifier and used it as his emblem. He thought that this way of calling himself identified him perfectly.

Diogenes wanted to get rid of all material goods that carry the false label of necessary and of which we ended up being slaves. He decided to live in austerity, just as dogs would, and realized that he could always be more humble than he was.

Let’s start being a little more dogs

It is evident that the story of Diogenes is quite bizarre and we are not going to try to make the reader take it at face value and begin to behave in this way. However, we do intend that the background of the story is understood and that from there you can decide if you want to take any part of it to apply it.

If we reflect for a moment, we will realize that many of our emotional problems stem from our self-centeredness. For example, a difficulty that generates this egocentricity is appreciated in people who find it difficult to delegate tasks, people who forget that they are unique but not essential.

People have a gigantic ego and this is precisely what makes us suffer.

If you think of a dog, yours, your neighbor’s or a stray one and you observe it, you will realize that it is only interested in what is really necessary : shelter from inclement weather, move, get food and drink daily, procreate along with some play and attention. You don’t need to be the best dog in town or make everything perfect.

Think that people live certain options as if they were needs: we want a good job, a good salary, a house with a swimming pool, an attractive partner, traveling, professional success, being recognized and praised … and if those needs are not covered, our self-esteem will look resentful. We feel less than others.

Nobody is bitter with a sweet and wanting all this is legitimate, as long as we do not fall into the temptation to turn all those wishes into absolute inalienable needs.

If we want to start living a somewhat “bitchier” life , the first step is not to feel so important : we will not get depressed if we are not recognized, we will not get angry at verbal injustice or compete so much with others in order to stand out and get the applause.

The second step is to be less modest. We are not going to go to the extreme extreme of relieving ourselves in the middle of the street, but we do need to show ourselves more openly, just as we are. Perhaps some of our defects are more marked, but that is better than paying the price of not developing our potentialities.

If I am ashamed to dress in a certain way because I think that I am skinny, fat, pale, dark or whatever, I will take the option of dressing as I please, regardless of these complexes that society has intended us to have. Dogs are not ashamed to be bigger, smaller, one color or another.

My scale of values ​​must also change. Physical attractiveness, both mine and others, material possessions or being superior to the rest have to cease to matter to me.

Can you imagine a dog looking at the physique of a bitch or whether it is more or less fashionable? Do you think that one dog would envy another because their bed to sleep in is bigger or more expensive? Obviously, they don’t care about all that.

Lastly, let’s be less needy. As Diogenes demonstrated, it doesn’t take so many things to make us feel comfortable and happy. Today, if you are reading this, at least you have a mobile phone or a computer, which means that you have your basic needs covered (because the mobile phone or the computer is not), why then are you unhappy?

So why don’t you dare to be a little more doggy?

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