Commitment to Dogs That Won’t Hunt

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Searching around in my mind as I drove to Kerrville yesterday I was trying to find something, almost anything, the word ‘we’ could be applied to that included all of humanity.  Not an easy task, despite most of the lofty notions humans have about themselves.

Intelligence and thinking came to mind, but didn’t survive even long-range scrutiny.  Whatever else we might be, human beings are only intelligent when compared to one another within a miniscule range of options.  Probably the least intelligent human being able to function is somewhat smarter than the next-best up for consideration in the animal kingdom.  And a few notches up on the yardstick, the smartest human being isn’t much more intelligent.  But there’s enough difference top-to-bottom to demolish the word ‘we’ when it comes to defining anything all humans have in common.

As for thinking, there’s just not a hell of a lot of it going on.  The overwhelming majority of humans are riding along on shock waves created by thinkings of an underwhelming few individuals.  Of the several billion humans on this planet there’s not more than a shot-glass full who could figure out how to manufacture a lead pencil.  Or, for that matter, a shot-glass.  Or build a fire without materials provided by some autopilot composite of individuals not-thinking somewhere else.

Pride held up a lot better, but as I turned it over examining all the nuances I found it was handcuffed to something else.  Commitment.  This species couldn’t have survived this long without it any more than a tribe of beavers could survive without the non-thinking commitment to building community dams.

And pride is the glue holding it together.  A necessary virtue to keep things moving, even though the commitments most frequently to dogs that don’t hunt, haven’t hunted for centuries, but nobody’s devoted enough thought to the matter to notice.

When I was a kid the adults used to say if a snapping turtle ever got a bite on you it wouldn’t turn loose until it thundered.  One of the places in this reality where the word ‘we’ can be applied to humanity is our commonality to that imaginary snapping turtle.  Commitments come along, sometimes the result of someone thinking something, sometimes just out of the blue, and ‘we’ lock our pride into it and don’t turn loose until it thunders.

When I began this post I intended it to examine human commitments to failed ideals and myths.  I planned to reflect on our often failing repeated attempts to commit ourselves to individuals, to political parties, to geographic boundaries.

But I’m going to have to save that for some future post. 

I was watching bumper stickers as I drove along considering all this.  Proud to be an American.  Proud to be a Texan.  Proud to be a Native Texan.

Presumably those declarations are a source of pride because of the effort and personal hardship involved in achieving them.  If pride had anything to do with personal achievement.  Or thinking.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Views on Atheism?

Old Jules, what is your view on my religion? I’m an atheist.



20 responses to “Commitment to Dogs That Won’t Hunt

  1. It seems like pride supported commitment is driven by a fear of whatever the alternative to pride in commitment is; failure, solitude?

    • Hi elroyjones. Thanks for coming by. Fear of a set of a carefully pruned, tailored assortment of alternatives is probably another ‘we’ big enough to include the human species. Gracias, J

  2. I used to be very smart, but I think I have forgotten all I ever knew. At least my wife tells me I have. . .

    • DizzyDick: I’ve always prided myself as being among the intellectual elite comprised of the tiny percentage at the bottom of the intelligence scale, not thinking at a purer, more natural level. Better equipped for not thinking than the smarter billions not thinking, but less well equipped. Congratulations on the down-sizing. Thanks for coming by. J

  3. Excellent topic, Ole Jules! The one thing that ‘we’ have in common is that we, the human species, all live on Planet Earth.

  4. Keep it coming, Jules. You’re just warming up.

  5. Ole Jules, Being that I am older than you I have a feeling that dogs that won’t hunt have virtues often overlooked by those who care more for things than virtue.

    When my children were growing up we had two beagles who grew up along with them, Neither would hunt anything other than a warm place to sleep, both were death defying loyal to our family and the three siblings who the beagles, Cedric and Patches, would protect with their life.

    My youngest son, Ray ( continued his love for the fourlegged critters and often said “if your dog doesn’t like someone, you better watch them carefully”. He was right. His last dog a Bouvier named Hannah, died before he became involved with his new wife, and he died 18 months after marrying her. The true cause of his death in 2007 is still being mulled over in Pennsylvania.

    I do enjoy your writing.
    Shirley Sanservino, a/k/a Investigator25

  6. I followed an eccentric poet for a number of years named Ric Mastin. He contemplated for sometime what we all have in common. His conclusion: Loneliness!

    I’ve thought about this for a number of years, and I have always failed to improve on his conclusion.

  7. I tend to think what makes humans unique among species is capacity, not use.

  8. Damn. That was good. Like, “I really wish I could steal this without you ever noticing” good. I won’t steal it, obviously, but the desire is there.

  9. Death shall come to us all…

  10. Dear Jules, you got me thinking long ago when you ‘called’ me on the ‘we’ thing. But I still do it from time to time, and here’s how I see it: for those who consider themselves part of the collective to which I refer, I think it’s comforting at times to feel ‘we’ are not alone in our thoughts and reflections. I know that’s true for me, and has been true for many I’ve written for over the years – because I’ve gotten that kind of feedback from my published works.

    AND you’ve gotten me more intent on editing my own work to claim my own voice where necessary. So thanks for that 😉

    • Bela: Always good to see you. I dunno about this voice thing, but I’m of the opinion ‘we’ might have one if we were capable of hearing it. Gracias, J

  11. Pingback: preventing reverse psychology in the future « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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