Learning from giraffes

By , October 31st, 2013 | Common Humanity, Nurturing Relationships, Self-Compassion | 0 Comments

giraffes drinking

A giraffe riddle meme on Facebook captured the attention of the news – USA Today, CNN, Huff Post, Chicago Tribune, TIME, TODAY, ABC, among other, and became an interesting phenomenon.

Those of us who got the riddle wrong and put a picture of a giraffe in our profile had fun hanging out, laughing about how good it felt to be part of this odd club. Some of those who got the riddle right were even saying they wished they had gotten it wrong so they could be part of the group.

So what gives? My theory is that in these times of so much bad news, being part of something fun felt really good. It was fun being an animal not known for being cool, or powerful, or much admired by most. I had fun embracing the geeky, skinny, long necked, long legged girl I was in grade school.

I’ve been reading “The Bond” by Lynne McTaggart — in which she, in her inimitable scientific detective story style, tells us that “we are weak when we compete, and thrive only when we cooperate and connect deeply with each other.”

Now, I admit I’m making a bit of a leap here, but as I read this next passage in her book, I was feeling very much like a giraffe among other giraffes, smiling at how good I felt:

“The Lamarckian worldview depicts the natural world as a dynamic, symbiotic partnership, and evolutionary change as a joint solution, restoring balance and harmony when an organism is out of alignment with its environment.”

As humans we may often be out of alignment with our environment, but as giraffes, well, I for one felt a sense of cooperation with my fellow giraffes — perhaps if we had continued the experiment we would have learned a new and different behavior at the watering hole.

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