Category Archives: Animal Analogies

Sometimes think about the Dung Beetle

Dung Beetles, there are many varieties but they all have one obvious thing in common. They keep their shit together.

No, seriously, keep reading please.

We have a lot of different pressures in our lives. Beyond the base needs, shelter and food, your needs may vary a lot from mine.

Pressure is natural. We are designed to use pressure to do things. On a simple scale a pressure might be hunger. We feel hungry and need to do something about it. So we go get something to eat.

Each pressure adds to the first. So we have something to eat and it rains, we need shelter. So we look for somewhere dry.

Most of us have a home that shelters us and food is easily found.

Dung Beetle has his shit together, literally – you must have seen him on TV ruling a ball of dung. That is possibly his home and definitely his food. So long as his shit is together he is happy plodding along.

But those pressures keep coming. How do I pay the mortgage/rent? Why am I single? Why am I not single? What school/college/university sould I go to? Or send my children to? Should I have children? Why can’t I have children? Why do people think I ought to want to have children?

The amount, complexity, variety of pressures we have can shrink or build at any time.

Sometimes we can’t cope. It happens.

Maybe, just maybe, when you can’t cope. Think about that Dung Beetle rolling his ball of dung. If he can keep going, so can you. Just keep as much shit under control as you can, as long as you are plodding on. No matter how slowly you are plodding along maybe you are doing OK.

And just maybe Dung Beetle is thinking about you.


People are sheep; be a llama

I’ve said for years that “People are sheep”. Most people instantly grasp the basics of what I mean when I say this but there is more to it. So I recently added the “Be a llama” part.

Sheep are known to flock, to follow along aimlessly. Often sheep are perceived to be weak and they tend to move away from danger, when faced with predation sheep will flee, leaving weaker members of the flock behind. They are also perceived to be weak willed and simply follow whoever leads off, regardless of where they are going.

People do these things all the time.

For example. On a bus a few years ago, it was rush hour and the bus was full. There had been standing room only downstairs, where I was sat, upstairs was full. People had started to get off and fewer were getting on, so standing room was available downstairs, a few seats.

Suddenly roughly 20 people came downstairs, none got off. Nothing was said, some that had been downstairs in the first place spoke – perhaps there had been a stink bomb set off, like last year. No one that had come down said anything. There were several guesses, nothing replied. Someone even asked directly – no reply.

A few stops later three youths came down, they were clearly under the influence of something – my guess was that it wasn’t alcohol. The people that had come downstairs displayed fear, none got off at the same stop as the youths.

Two stops later a man came down, covered in his own blood. “Thanks everyone!” he said, then he spoke to the driver asking him to keep the footage if the security cameras were working. The man was a self employed gardener, one of the youths had taken his shears from next to him and attacked him.

20 adults did nothing! Now I am not saying I expect have-a-go heroes; that can be dangerous. I understand fear, I understands that no one wanted to also be attacked.

But they didn’t tell the driver, no one used their mobile to call the police. None of them asked someone else to call the police.

They were all sheep.

Years later, same bus route (no this isn’t a typically violent place, honest) and a man is harassing people by throwing a football at them. /He is repeatedly throwing it as a young lady, I guess she was 19. It is just past rush hour, 20 asults on the bus. One man got off, I am pretty sure earlier than I had seen him get off the week before. No one said anything – not even after I did.

I told the man to behave. He asked ‘did you say something?’ I said I had and repeated a request that he behave. He proceeded to tell me that he knew the girl and she had missed her stop because she was asleep. Utter nonsense, she was terrified and was shrinking and trying to hide. I got out of my seat, asked if she was ok. She looked very scared but thanked me for intervening.

The driver must have seen & did nothing. Half a bus of passengers did nothing.


Please, don’t be a sheep; be a Llama.