People as puppies

August 26, 2015

I was watching the PBS NewsHour last night on TV.  I couldn’t stream, because the box in the basement from the internet/phone service provider did not survive a neighborhood power outage and recovery, so I was watching the NewsHour on a TV screen (cum antenna) and it looked different.

(Side note:  apparently there is no longer a feeling of urgency to restore landline telephone connections, I guess because we are all presumed to have fully charged cell phones with sufficient minutes to use instead.  I was less surprised they would be pokey about restoring internet capability, but nowadays the two services are often bound together in the hardware, I think, through the same cable — no more copper wire for phones.  I see this is as a big vulnerability in the system.  They treated it as a routine service call in scheduling the appointment, did not seem concerned that I had no landline to access 911 if necessary from Saturday through Wednesday.)

At one point in the NewsHour opening there’s a horse, and I am thinking, “Boy, I am glad to see that horse among all those pictures of people!”  And I thought about why, and what came to me is that I love animals, and while I can and do love people, it’s easier for me to connect with the essence of the animal because there is much less nonsense to distract me from that essence and I don’t find myself tempted towards resentment and such with animals in the way I do with humans (on account of their behavior).  I accept a puppy’s limitations far more easily than a person’s, and while those limitations, to be sure, are different, I realized that there’s no real reason I can’t say to myself, “Oh, that person is just reflecting the limitations I know full well they have, expecting them to behave otherwise is on me, they are just being their usual ‘puppy’ self.”  Then I am free to problem-solve, if necessary, but I don’t get so bogged down with emotional reaction.

So I was glad to see an animal on screen, it made me relax and remember how easy it is to relate to an animal’s core and how at our cores we are actually not the petty difficult selves we may dress ourselves up as.  It gave me a sense of a way out from feeling I have no good way of relating to people behaving in ways I find difficult.

I made someone laugh as I was trying to explain this way of thinking about people as puppies earlier this evening, when I used customer service stonewalling as an example:  “Oh, that customer service rep is just being their usual [company name]-animal self, that’s just what they do, that’s how they behave.”  I repeated the sentence using the names of the other companies I have been struggling with lately.  As I said, the person I was telling this to laughed, I think at the phrasing that turned the companies into animal species.

I suspect I have written something in this vein before, so re-discovering it last night as if it’s something new indicates to me that I haven’t yet incorporated this point of view into my usual way of interacting.  I am sure I will have ample future opportunities to try implementing this approach again.

I am serious, though, about trying to use how I relate to animals as a template for how I might relate to human beings whose behavior I find difficult.  I think it’s a major challenge in my life to figure out ways of dealing with my disappointment and frustration (and sometimes hurt) with how many of my fellow human beings behave.  I am glad to have the template from how I relate to animals, just as I am glad to have a connection to the spiritual world to help me dilute the intensity of my human reactions — when I get a sense of how some people don’t seem to have these “escapes” from the emotional storminess, I wonder how they live with such an internally tumultuous environment.


12 Responses to “People as puppies”

  1. Matthew Says:

    If you have a modem (the thing that attaches to the cable cord coming from the wall) and a router, you need to reset (unplug; wait 10 seconds; then plug back in) the modem first (while the router is already unplugged). Once the modem fully loads up, then you can plug the router back in, and your internet should be restored.

    • Diana Moses Says:

      We tried that when we lost internet. Then we discovered the battery back-up for the system had drained and that the hardwiring wasn’t working. The repair guy, when he finally came, had to replace most of the parts in the equipment boxes in the basement — a power surge had fried them. Apparently this happens regularly with the older equipment, especially with the two-pronged plug-in to the socket. It wasn’t the router, it was no power to the system. And the system now has a three-pronged plug.

      • Matthew Says:

        >a power surge had fried them.

        Did your house get struck by lightning or something?

      • Diana Moses Says:

        The neighborhood had a power outage. There was apparently a power surge at some point in connection with that, which I think was caused by an arcing wire somewhere in town.

      • Matthew Says:

        Ahh, the electrical lines near you got struck by lightning and it surged into your house. That’s interesting. Were your modem and router plugged into a surge protector? Come to think of it, mine aren’t. I’m going to go fix that.

      • Diana Moses Says:

        There was no storm. We lost power briefly earlier in the day and then we lost it for a some hours. It was a wet day but no storm, no thunder, no lightning, not even much in the way of rain (kind of drizzily). I don’t know that it was weather-related.

        The equipment failures were where the service enters the house, not at the router level. The power source for that prior part of the system is in the ceiling of the basement. The company’s equipment there (both the old equipment and the new equipment) includes a small box, I don’t know if it’s a surge suppressor. I do know that they are aware that old systems with 2 prongs are vulnerable to what happened to mine. They said the the techies had wanted to upgrade such systems proactively but the company had no records about who had them.

      • Matthew Says:

        You had a cell phone to call 911 tho, presumably. Imagine the shock to lose electricity/internet and cell service at once. But even then, old-fashioned phones would still work. And therefore so would dial-up internet.

        I’m signing up for Earthlink now. I think I’ll need a laptop too (and one with good battery power), otherwise it’s somewhat moot (no power = no computer).

      • Diana Moses Says:

        But the laptop will still need a wi-fi connection. Jordan went to Starbucks.

      • Matthew Says:

        No, if the power is out then Starbucks is closed and wifi is down. You’d need a laptop with a dial up port (and to conserve laptop battery life). I read that HP has some models with the feature.

      • Diana Moses Says:

        The outage was not townwide.

      • Matthew Says:

        This time.

      • Diana Moses Says:

        My surprise was that restoration of a landline is no longer considered an urgent matter.

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