Friday, 30 March 2012


Those who know me, understand that I can probably be happiest in the company of animals without the requirement for human contact for months. It is probably an odd aspect to admit but I can exist without human contact for a fairly lengthy period. This lack of dependence on people developed over sometime. I am not quite sure how it evolved but perhaps it was an emotional adaptation.

The affection that humans provide you with is unconditional. They are never as complicated as human beings nor do they desire or have great expectations. Many have written about unconditional love or compassion .I believe it is extremely important for every person to develop the ability to be compassionate - perhaps it distinguishes us from the machines and electronics we are surrounded by. 

The impact of animals on human well-being was discussed in this paper published in the Psychologist. The conclusions were as follows

"Whilst the evidence for a direct causal association between animals and human health is still not conclusive, the literature is largely supportive of the long-held belief that ‘pets are good for us’, contributing to both our physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, not all of the research carried out in this area has been without criticism (for review, see Wells, 2009). The lack of longitudinal designs and standardised measures that assess diverse areas of physical and cognitive functioning makes it difficult to draw finite conclusions, and further work in this sphere is certainly needed. It must be pointed out that research exploring the relationship between pets and human health has not always produced positive results (e.g. Parslow et al., 2005; Pluijm et al., 2006). Moreover, animals have the potential to pose enormous threat to human health, spreading disease, inducing allergies, inflicting bites and triggering psychological trauma (e.g. Baxter, 1984; Baxter & Leck, 1984). 

Pets should certainly not be regarded as a perfect pill for treating ill health. Nonetheless, employed in the correct manner, and targeted at the appropriate user group, animals have the potential to contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of lives, and, as such, should not be overlooked as an alternative, or complementary, form of therapy in modern-day healthcare practices"
 Unconditional Love 

Throughout all our lives, it is often vital to understand the concept of self development. These aspects are not taught in schools, through degrees or via achievements. It is self taught through the circumstances faced by each person in their own lives. You either opt to learn from those circumstances or you don't. I often find so many young people have the inability to understand or care for their elders, their animals or even themselves. Their lives revolve around everything that society has now become - driven by a materialistic attitude. Anyhow, animals teach us many things about our own failings. I certainly find that dogs teach us about unconditional love, caring and kindness. Animals provide us with some vital lessons in humanity, generosity, kindness and compassion. So often, we all believe that progress is being made by extensive knowledge of technical detail that the world has to offer. In doing so, we tend to discard the simpler and more valuable traits that a human being should learn and possess. This may prevent human emotion from being driven by selfishness, greed, decadence and peer pressure. Indeed, it may be the key to some modicum of happiness that  eludes many people in suburbia and  the concrete cities. Even during my time as a psychiatrist, I never felt humans were created or developed to cope with the stresses that our modern world forces upon them. The key to lessen human suffering is to seek the simplicity that the world around us has to offer. The trick  is recognising it before it is too late.