Tuesday, April 29, 2008

P4E.069 We Are Different From Animals

(8th in a series on predator patterning)

"It's a common complaint among animal researchers. Whenever they find a mental skill in a species that is reminiscent of a special human ability, the human cognition scientists change the definition."
Inside Animal Minds, By Virginia Morell, National Geographic, March 2008

What still separates us is our developed language, our ability to communicate in both written and verbal form about the past, present and future and "the extra layer of imagination and explanation that provides the running mental narrative accompanying our actions." (ibid.)

In the end, I hope that one more way we are different from animals is that we can believe in a Creator and respond to that belief by being self-aware enough to purposefully change the way we think, act and talk. I am not a rat in a maze whose pattern never alters until the day he dies.

Last weekend I heard a radio preacher vehemently preaching on Galatians 2:16. I'm not writing here about whether we are "justified" by "works" or "faith." I'm writing about the process of becoming a new creature because we BELIEVE. Don't be confused.

So...How does it happen? How do we move away from the destructive predator patterning that I've been chronicling?

First, we must overcome our initial defensiveness that causes us to deflect the criticism that we are acting like predators. Many of us husbands eventually (or initially) get to the place where we want to blame our wives for our problems. "Why should I change? Why shouldn't she change?" To paraphrase horse trainer Clinton Anderson:

"To change your wife, you must first change yourself.
To change yourself, you must first change your attitude."

Remember, the predator attitude is SELFISH. So, here's the challenge:

Step 1: Purpose to let others go first. Especially when I must sacrifice to do so.

It looks like this:
I'm in a hurry.
I arrive at a queue at the grocery store, bank, fast food place
at about the same time or just in front of someone else.
I let them go in front of me.

I'm late for an appointment.
I sense that the person driving next to me wants to squeeze himself in the impossibly short distance between me and the car in front of me, with never a turn signal.
I back off and let him in.

My wife has an idea that is contrary to one that I have.
I have very good, logical, well thought-out reasons why my ideas are superior.
I freely sacrifice my idea and get behind hers.

And so on....

"But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, `Friend, move up higher'...For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Luke 14:10-11

Your Ally in the Pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim

PS - Interesting fact: A group of lions, the definitive predator, is called a "pride."


  1. Oooo... such a simple way to approach it. Painfully simple.

  2. Welcome to the What I Learned From... writing project, Kim; We appreciate your contribution!

    You make a great point about selfishness and the decidedly UN-Christlike mind. When we learn to put others first, we learn the joy of Christ in new ways.

    Hope to have you join us again, Kim.