I came across a video of circus lions who were [apparently] fed up with being controlled by their tamers. Some may find it graphic but I did not as the picture is grainy and distant and these sorts of things don’t bother me anyway. Watching the video prompted two things in my mind:
- If we expect to exert our artificial control over others and override their natural and organic ways of “being”, then we are terribly wrong to allow our Egos to drive the justification that it’s OK.
- There are natural consequences when one ignores nature, some of which cannot be foreseen.
The relevant stuff starts at around 3:00.
I’ve had a lot of pets in my life with a few that could be considered unconventional. Never would my dad have endorsed or encouraged the notion of domesticating a large, potentially deadly wild animal as the concept is completely unnatural. Now and then we see stories in the news of some horrific accident where an animal had been living outside of its natural habitat for perhaps years and then “suddenly, without warning” the animal attacked its keeper whom it had previously been “just fine” with.
Well DUH. The animal is being forced to live in conditions that aren’t natural to its existence. For a time, many animals can be trained or controlled to behave as if they were [capable of being] domesticated. Ultimately, there is always the chance that the animal will tire of being unnaturally controlled and living against its own instincts that never, ever go away.
The lions fought back because they could no longer override the fact that they’re lions (again DUH) and they aren’t meant to live this kind of life. At varying points I’m betting those lions knew they were capable of overtaking their trainers, but chose not to at that time. Perhaps there was some sort of “lion reward” they imagined that included the freedom to be lions [whatever that may mean]. Maybe on this day the lions were tired and had endured too many performances with too many loud noises and simply had enough. Of course they’re lions – not humans – so the idea of having a “plan” seems silly, however, at the moment the first lion rebelled somehow that lion determined that there was nothing more important than asserting himself AS A FUCKING LION! (again DUHHHHHHHH!)
A lion is a lion is a lion. You can put one in your backyard until it grows from cute and cuddly lion cub to roaring awesomeness as King of the Jungle, but it will always be a damn lion. Not a goat. Not a dog. Not a bunny. A lion.
Expectations of others is always the cause of suffering, especially when those expectations clash mightily with the true nature of that person. One can be successful in “taming” another for a short period of time – maybe – but when that lion-like rebellion comes and it looks like an overreaction, it’s not. It’s a build up of a lifetime of pretending to be a groundhog or a fish when one is really, truly, no-doubt-about-it A LION.