The Point of the Give (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 179)


Pretext Note: This passage begins with observations specifically related to dog behavior, but evolves into a greater message regarding instability and behavioral disorders in people. I sincerely believe this message is of vital importance in regards to anyone who suffers from mental instability and I continue to believe that such instability is primarily a product of a behavioral disorder (a nurtured or learned disorder) as opposed to a pure genetic or medically inherited disease. The parallels of comparative behavior across species are extremely useful in illustrating this theory (and tangential associated theories) in cause, effect, and successful resolution.

A dog raised in a home environment without appropriate structure and boundaries is a dog that has been over-nurtured (spoiled) into believing that it is the master or ruler or supreme authority of all. In the reality of such a situation, that “all” for the dog only applies to its own household (own isolated pack), yet the dog has no profound reason or understanding to interpret its supreme authority of being any less authoritative anywhere outside of its own home (isolated pack). It cannot differentiate the “norm” of its isolated pack as being different from the “norm” of the very different greater world which exists outside of its isolated pack. The dog is thus significantly unsocialized and will be untempered in its accurate interpretation of relational behavior that varies from the over-nurturing it has learned to accept as all that is right and proper for itself.

If we assume that no fear has been added into this developmental equation by the owners, and we take the dog illustrated above and plop him on an exam room table, directly in front of a stable dominant authority figure, the dog will first attempt to flee. If not allowed to flee and not sappily “rescued” by his over-nurturing parents/family, and he is continued to be restrained by the stable dominant authority figure appropriately, the next move of the dog will be to do everything within his power to ignore and negate the reality of the stable authority figure. The dog will try to turn its body away as much as possible and will literally look down or from side to side to avoid having to acknowledge the authority figure who stands before it. If the stable authority figure is persistent enough, they will then repetitively and commandingly make the dog face themselves while making direct eye contact until avoidance of the posture and the glance is relinquished indefinitely. That is the point of the “give” by the dog which signifies that the dog has yielded its supreme authority to another “pack leader” who is more dominant and stable than itself; to a stable dominance which does not become an adversarial force or despotic ruler per se, but a rational and balanced reactive force of structure, accountability, accurate perception, and healthy non-codependent existence and interaction.

The “give” is a beautiful moment for a trainer or behaviorist, and perhaps even more so for the dog. It creates the proper or natural psychological parameters and understandings in the dog for a stable and balanced existence forevermore. It is an escape from instability. The greatest challenge to achieving this “give” comes from the people who are too unaware or too uninterested or too unskilled to lead the dog in a truly stable dominant manner, and aggressively interfere with said stabilization process, they often do, consciously or not.

This entire “dog” scenario (behavioral pitfall, expression, and “therapeutic” intervention), also applies almost verbatim to people. I promise you that. Behavior is behavior is behavior. But, just like a dog, people may escape from such instability. It is a much more complicated endeavor to obtain a “give” from an adult person due to the glitching intricacies of the human psyche, but such a hope and epiphany is still possible. It is a viable reality.

If we are to increase the number of “gives” from/in humanity, if we are to decrease the widespread instability which is present within our numbers, then we must as a whole apply greater effort towards increasing our collective awareness, empathy, skill, and focus towards such intent.

Doing less through passive ease and/or the fostered apathy of delusion, distraction, and willful ignorance has lead to the pervasive instability and behavioral problems which are now all too commonly witnessed throughout the species of “man’s best friend” as well as humanity itself. 

We need to return collectively to openly acknowledging and embracing the grace and universal salvation which is present within the point of the “give.”

Cribb          2017