While politicking with the illustrious Cliff this morning, he brought up a topic which incited me to go on a tangent regarding human nature. We see ourselves as superior creatures for several reasons, and I believe rightfully so, but we have the tendency to pad our résumés. Not everything Dare I say that in some parts of the animal kingdom that surpass us due to our devolution of common decency.* We can develop social skills, but we can just as easily choose not to develop them, so I am not ready to say that we corner the market on things like fellow feeling.
I was, however, able to come up with one trait in which we humans corner the market. Arrogance. We have that in spades. Our judgment, undeserved senses of entitlement (which we ALL have to greater or lesser degrees) and posturing. The “fake it til you make it” effect, as it were. That doesn’t fly in the animal kingdom. We make foolish assertions, heap our views and opinions on others, and due to either a lack of interest, or simple exhaustion, a person can sneak into the role of the dominant or alpha personality.
Not so in the animal kingdom. Take the lion for example – simply hearing “lion” evokes images of royalty, leadership and power. This is not by accident. The lion is the way he is because he is the king of the jungle; not because his number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers. He is the king of the jungle because if you call yourself bringing it to a lion, he will wreck shop. If you think you can pull one over on him, bring it. The lion won’t duck fights or make excuses. You’re bigger? You’re badder? The lion wants you to come get some. In the end, there is a winner and a loser – possible a corpse. The defeated lion doesn’t spend a week on Twitter moaning about how he beat himself. “If he wouldn’t have kicked that dirt in my eye…”
An additional fact that Cliff pointed out to me, the lion stands on what he has done. A lot of humans put up elaborate façades, to cover a string of non-accomplishments. When a lion serves another, IF the defeated lives to see another day, there’s no discussion. It’s obvious to all. When the lion roars, everything else with sense runs.
Except of course, arrogant humans, with their compulsion to prove that they are “alphas.” Just as a lion is a lion, an alpha simply is an alpha. No amount of posturing makes a person something that they aren’t.
*Cracking jokes about a person who drove a segway off a cliff and died is definitely evidence of devolution.