Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Human Animal

I think that we can learn from the way zookeepers handle animals in a zoo. Good zookeepers understand that animals have needs and that they need to be handled differently, each with a different environment suited for them, feeding times, diet, etc.

Some animals are social and kept in groups, some are territorial and need to be separated. Some will get bored without any activity, some get stressed if there is too much distraction. There are signs outside an aquarium that say "Please don't tap the glass. It stresses the fish".

The same goes for humans. They get stressed too. They need social interaction too. They get bored. They are territorial.

I think we must strive that humans, no matter what we expect them to do (like "exceed expectations" on their performance review) are still animals too.

Humans are humans, not superhuman. In the wild concrete jungle, we've seemed to forgotten that. We see other humans as things, robots, resources to serve our own needs. Perhaps that is one aspect of the human animal, they tend to become selfish and egocentric.

I am starting to think if we view each person more than just a self-directed moral being, but also having the nature of a creature, an animal in the sense of needs, territory, interaction, etc, we can learn to treat each other better.

If only humans could have signs outside their cubicles that said "Don't overload with work. It stresses them out." Or "Please feed with encouragement and praise."

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