What sets us apart
Written by: Khadeja
The animal kingdom fascinates me. I am amazed by all the different species that exist; each with their own genetic makeup and characteristics. But when looking closely you see that whilst humans are superior in some ways, we also display similar behavior patterns that can be found in the wild…we just present it in a ‘prettier more civilized’ packaging.
Take the crocodile; high on the list of animals that one “should ” fear. Yet there is another gentler side. Crocodiles carry their babies in their mouth to protect them from other predators. Yes, the same jaws that are essentially a weapon can be gentle enough to carry weak babies. It’s all up to the crocodile’s instincts to decide the appropriate course of action.
As humans, we have a similar feature which is surprisingly located in the same region as that of the crocodile; our tongue.
This fascinating muscle enables us to taste, sing, and praise. It enables us to communicate with others and express what’s in our mind, heart, and soul. But it can also be a weapon far more dangerous than any human made weapon. This is because the effect of a word can cut far deeper than just the skin. A single word can impact a person’s psyche for years ahead. A single word can reduce an otherwise strong person to a lump of flesh and tears. A single word spoken carelessly without consideration can cause a person to lie awake at night wondering why. Even worse, is the ripple effect that can occur from malicious rumors being said which leads to the complete disintegration of a friendship, marriage, or even an entire family.
What sets us apart from the crocodile is our awareness. This gift we have which allows us to see the world in color and from different vantage points. Our sense of awareness enables us to predict with great accuracy the impact of our words. There is always a choice in life. And whilst saying something mean to a person can provide you with momentary satisfaction – especially when you feel like you have been mistreated- it is not worth it in the long run. Because it will harden you. And you will continue to harden with every snide remark and biting comment that you say instead of taking the high road of silence or the ever-higher road of speaking good no matter what. And soon enough you will lose the light that awareness brings into your life and will have to rely purely on instinct to navigate through life.
Then what would set us apart from the animals?