I have had dogs for many years and I am always amazed at how they learn. They are sponges the way they take in the world around them and form their behaviors as a result of that environment.
Dogs learn from other dogs from the very start of their lives. Their mother teaches them about food and water and then that feeds their instinct to survive. She teaches them bite inhibition and they learn how to play by interacting with their littermates.
Dogs learn from other dogs too if they have them in their homes and at the dog park. I am raising a puppy now and I am amazed at he mirrors the behaviors of our other dogs. Dogs of course form some of their behaviors because of instinct but they do learn from observation. He has learned proper etiquette in a pack of dogs by being corrected by them. My puppy has learned the art of calming down by watching my other dogs settle down for an afternoon snooze.
He also has learned form watching humans and from training . He learns how to live as a dog in a human world. Dogs learn what is expected of them and because they for the most part like to please humans they modify there behavior to be able to live with us and I think they do so with happiness.
Or if they don’t have positive modeling a dog can become what we would call a “bad dog”. It is uncanny how what the dog sees and learns – the inputs- can create the type of dog he will be – output.
I was a programmer and software engineer in my past. And I sometimes look at things in that logical vain. A program gives us information after we have given it input and it thinks about what it was given and then gives us output…its view of the info we sent it.
Input- crunch data – output
I was thinking about this today as I watch my dogs interact. And I thought about this is terms of how humans learn from birth – it is different than dogs of course – our minds are complex but the way we form as humans – the information we get (the input) -from our very first breath- is coming at us and we begin to develop (crunch data in our immature brains) our worldview and sense of self(output).
It is in this early time that we are given most of our input from our family. We had schools and friends and Tv and now there is social media as well. But what we saw at home mostly influenced what developed our worldview – our truth based mostly on our families inputs. Positive and negative.
As we become teens we begin to see the outer world in a more real way. We may then begin to question our parents worldview if we see things that stand in opposition to what we have been taught in our homes. -We begin to form our own worldview – our own truth.
What is truth? If we each have our own idea of it is any of it real? Truth only exists in the mind. We can get input like – the sky is blue and we can decide if that is true or not.
Some of the input we receive help us to develop our values and morals.
It is amazing how two people can receive the same input and have a vastly different opinion or learning experience from It (output). And our worldview can change at any time based on more input.
One person may see a racially unjust society while another thinks there is opportunity for everyone.
We are fed so much information in this day and age from many sources. I have Apple News and Facebook and Twitter, Tv news, podcasts, and family. There is so much. So much to influence how we can see the world. How do we decide what is right? What we hear at any given minute can form or reform our truth. It kind of freaks me out. We each can see one thing in such a different way. Like the witnesses of a car accident or a robbery all giving conflicting stories.
We are all living with differing version of reality.
How do we coexist with each other when we each have a version of truth that differs values that may conflict?
Well we see recently that it can be very hard to do.
I think we all need the willingness to step outside of ourselves. I try so hard to step back from my views and look at the big picture so I can be sure I am not being sucked in by some false observation – or maybe I will have an input that I misread or decide that it means something else entirely than I first thought. I need to be willing to take all the input and reprocess it and to see if my output changes. Many times discussion between humans can help change our perspective and view on a topic…maybe seeing something else through another persons eyes may not change your view but can invoke compassion and care for the other person.
New real life experience can change us too. I know cancer changed mine.
As I have matured I try to choose the truth that sides with compassion, love, giving, respect and tolerance. A view that doesn’t stew in anger and one that can be helpful. It is easy to tear things down. Harder to build them back up. I have failed myself and rebooted many times. But I am glad I am open to do that. We will always be part of our past. If we shed beliefs they kind of follow us around…like they are still attached – and we can pick them back up again but we want to be sure they are worth taking back.
I am always working on my worldview. But great writers and seers and philosophers leaned on love as truth. So I try to process my inputs using that algorithm. I can’t say that it’s the absolute right way but it’s is the right way for me. My reality. I am a work in progress and will always be. Ask me next week- I might have a different worldview.
But we all have adapt to a world of people who live different truths.
It is hard to get along in this world with so many different truths lolling about. We all think we are right. But in order to get along we have to look outside ourselves and as my husband says “model the behaviors we want from others”.