It is least understood but perspective is the most important thing in the human and animal spectrum. It means that if we are to have space for all we must give thought to how differently humans and animals perceive life. Much has been written about animal behavior but to say our perceptions are similar when they might be mutually exclusive, is more true. We each have our own perceptions and view life differently. People might see a chair to sit on but to a shy pet it is an obstacle. We must simply assume that an other does not perceive life as we do. Before an argument starts over words spoken, understanding the words is mandatory. Words are loaded with meaning. Cultures approach the meaning of words differently. We all have different frames of reference within which we operate. Humans use linear measurement. We stop at red lights and we go on green. Laws govern us.
Animal senses are peculiarly their own and coupled with language challenge us to understand them. When watching migratory birds in flight we assume their flight habits are measured like ours. That the world they function in is like ours. We see them in our world but what do they see? Insert the thought that perhaps their measurements differ. Perhaps their miles are not in feet or kilometers when they breed in the Arctic and fly to the southern hemisphere. When our pets become pseudo children, are we surprised that they wish to be fed at the table? They wish to sleep in our beds? If we wish for them to continue in our lives, we must remember what species they are; unless we prepare for another species to enter physical life.
Before we enter the private space of an other, either with warrior words or fists, we must first understand what we wish from one another. That we are on the same page in what we mean to say. Because we are not unless we make ourselves clear. Perspective is personal. Our perspective is wholly ours. Different we are even in the same family. I try to introduce you to my perspective. Grant me the same courtesy. We must honor and listen with hearts opened to the Other. It is the only way to achieve a peaceful existence. Otherwise we will measure the days of our lives in terms of wars fought and children who are forever scarred.
photo by John Hallissey