Top 8 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Our Furry Friends

Animals are far from inferior to humans. However, when it comes to human behavior and what we can learn from animals, the two can often clash with the demands of modern living. Many of us have gradually isolated ourselves from nature, causing us to lose touch with our natural selves and most basic of instincts.

From the way they behave towards each other to the simplicity of survival above all, what we can learn from animals can teach us many things about life, love, and the simple joy of being alive. To prove that they possess such wisdom, we’ve put together eight life lessons that we can learn from all creatures, great and small.

1. Patience

Thanks to the ever-increasing pace of our day-to-day lives, a lack of patience has become acceptable and even desired in modern society. However, patience has its benefits, and nowhere is that clearer than in the animal kingdom.

Having patience and being observant aren’t just virtuous behaviors; they help us form a balanced perspective, give us time to react to unfolding situations, and provide a myriad of other benefits.

2. Cooperation

Working with others towards a common goal is something that animals have been perfecting since the beginning of time. Take ants, for example, which are arguably the most successful animals in the world, more numerous and more efficient than humans.

Setting our differences aside in order to work together seems relatively straightforward, but our willingness to do this tends only to extend as far as personal benefit. While that may seem like the natural outlook to have, it’s far better to focus on mutual benefit instead.

Cooperation

3. Compassion

It’s in our nature to care for others. However, somewhere between materialistic desires and capital-based economies, many of us have lost the ability, or are unwilling, to care for the feelings of others.

Animals, on the other hand, have no arbitrary limits to their compassion. Their behavior teaches us that empathy isn’t only reserved for humans. It proves that animals are nurturing by nature, and we should strive to emulate their capacity for care.

4. Connectivity

We’re not as different from animals as some people might think. In fact, as our scientific body of knowledge grows, we’re increasingly becoming aware of the intricate relationships that animals have with each other.

Animals can even take advantage of interspecies communication. Some birds, for instance, will lead predators to a potential food source, forming a mutually beneficial relationship that increases both species’ odds of survival.

5. Respect

Both self-respect and mutual respect are essential for harmonious living. Many animals have surprisingly complex social structures, the majority of which are based on rules of respect. Every animal on Earth seems to know these rules instinctively.

Respecting your elders, for example, could be the difference between life and death in the wild. The same applies to humans, insofar as the wisdom and experience imparted by older generations are beneficial to our survival.

Respect

6. Frugality

To live beyond one’s means is a common problem for our species. No other animal in existence needs loans, bonds, or credit cards, yet we’ve somehow convinced ourselves that borrowing and lending money is an acceptable part of our nature.

It’s probably far too late to change these financial systems now, but it’s worth mentioning that debt should be avoided as often as humanly possible. Having good credit might be helpful, but it’s far better to live your life in as debt-free a way as possible.

7. Responsibility

The balance of Mother Nature is incredibly fragile and, with our so-called ‘higher’ intelligence, we should be far more sensitive to it than other animals. Yet, we see fit to exploit and exterminate, causing rapid climate change and multiple imbalances in nature.

Environmental responsibility has been a hot topic for the past few years, but animals have been way ahead of us in this regard. They are the masters of sustainable living, entirely in tune with the balance of nature.

8. Harmony

For any ecosystem to thrive, there needs to be a balance of natural elements within that system. It’s often a rather delicate balance, but the complexity of life demands a complex solution, one that can take many disparate elements and have them work in harmony.

It takes a lot of trial and error to perfect balance. Natural ecosystems show us that too much of one thing is never a good thing, which is a lesson many of us would do well to heed in our daily lives.