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5 Life Lessons From Pets and Other Sundry Creatures

Updated on July 31, 2017
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Robert Odell Jr has received sales training with heavy emphasis on The Seven Laws of Success & The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Earth is an educational institution

Earth is an educational institution, which houses a variety of instructors that help us to understand life.

Perseverance, resourcefulness, drive, preparation and the termination of all material things are just a few of the insurmountable life lessons we can learn by observing, or interacting, with pets and other sundry creatures that exist on planet earth.

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Perseverance learned by watching a bird

One of the first family pets that I remember having as a child was a parakeet.

On many occasions we would allow our parakeet to venture outside of it's designated bed room, "the cage". I recall our little friend giving me quite a jolt as it flew around in the living room and then darted through the air and up the stairwell. Sometime later, I learned that our pet parakeet had clipped wings. In other words; the bird was not supposed to fly very high at all, but someone forgot to tell the bird.

At every opportunity, our pet bird would spread its wings and fly as far as the allotted space would allow. If the front door had been left open, our pet would have flown out of the door and into the unlimited constructs of the beautiful sky above. A neighbor of ours actually did experience having their pet parakeet fly out of the door and onward and upward into the limitless abode of "Mother Nature".

By watching our parakeet, as it continued to fly, even with supposedly "clipped wings," I learned the life lesson of perseverance.

Our pet parakeet was not going to let anything stop it from flying. The bird was going to stick with it, clipped wings and all.

By observing our pet parakeet, I learned that the positive dreams and goals that we have inside of us are meant to take us soaring to our greatest potential.

By watching our parakeet, as it continued to fly even with supposedly "clipped wings," I learned the life lesson of perseverance.

Perseverance is the life lesson that causes you to:

  • Stick with it, even when it seems that things are not working.
  • Never give up on your goals and dreams.

Resourcefulness learned by touching a Spitz

Surrounded by majestic, mountain towns and only a skip away from Rocky Mountain National Park; Denver, Colorado is where we had our first, family, pet dog experience. A Finnish Spitz named "Peanuts" was loved by all and feared by one. My younger sister felt quite comfortable to tease "Peanuts" through the constraints of a screen door, while never daring to venture into the back yard where he was.

I discovered that the teasing was just a cover-up. My sister really wanted to have a closer relationship with the family pet. In order to achieve her goal, my sister first had to overcome her fear. Her young, resourceful, mind came up with a plan to do just that.

While living in Denver, Colorado; our first pet dog was a Finnish Spitz, similar to the one in the photo.
While living in Denver, Colorado; our first pet dog was a Finnish Spitz, similar to the one in the photo. | Source

My sister wanted to overcome her fear of the family pet and she was resourceful enough to come up with a plan to do it.

So how did my sister overcome her fear? It was simple. She reached out and touched the Spitz. She got me and my brother to stand close by as she reached out and touched the dog. She always wanted to be friends with "Peanuts" but it did not happen until she reached out. By reaching out in order to achieve her goal, my little sister was able to conquer what was hindering her from having a more fulfilling relationship with the family pet.

As an adult, my sister eventually ended up with two long haired dogs, of her own, that looked very much like "Peanuts." In fact; out of her three other siblings, including myself, my sister became the only one that seemed to always have a pet dog. I suppose you could say that she become a "dog lover."

By having to come up with a way to overcome the fear of our family pet, my younger sister had a lesson in resourcefulness.

Resourcefulness is an important life lesson that leads to success.

With resourcefulness you solve problems and circumstances that appear to block your path by:

  • Not panicking
  • Leaping into action
  • Reaching the right decision
  • Acting on the right decision

Drive learned from ants

Traditionally, many young boys are assigned to do chores as they grow up. My younger brother and I were no exception. One of our chores was washing the car. Often times, while washing the car, I would notice ant hills in the cracks of our drive way.

I would use the water hose to wash away the sand, and before I could even get the car dried off, those ants would be diligently rebuilding their ant hill. There was no slackness in them at all. Those little creatures seemed to be little, invincible machines that would never quit until their appointed task was accomplished.

It is no wonder the Bible tells us to,"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest" (Proverbs 6:6-8 KJV).

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Ants seemed to be like little, invincible machines that would never quit until their appointed task was accomplished.

By observing ants, I learned the life lesson of drive.

Drive causes you to:

  • Be active in doing and accomplishing
  • Be whole-hearted in your effort
  • Put a constant prod on yourself
  • Not give in to the impulse to be slack

Ants are not slack.  They constantly build, and begin to  immediately rebuild, even after their structures have been inadvertently or purposely washed away.
Ants are not slack. They constantly build, and begin to immediately rebuild, even after their structures have been inadvertently or purposely washed away. | Source

Preparation learned from a turtle

Arizona, "The Valley Of The Sun," is where my family and I encountered our first turtle experience. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a veterinarian or a scientist. I out grew that notion, but along the way I collected and observed various insects and other creatures. I don't recall how, but somehow, I ended up with a small pet turtle that I named Homer.

I kept Homer in a nice, little, turtle lagoon and everything seemed to be going well until that fateful day, when I was at home, reading aloud, some information about turtles.

As I read over a passage about turtles carrying certain diseases, my dad overheard. Suddenly, I could feel the silence as everything seemed to come to a screeching halt.

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My mother's eyes met my dad's as they both looked up. In a baritone voice, never to be reckoned with, my dad turned to me and said, "You have got to get that thing out of here."

Well what was I to do? I didn't just want to put Homer outside to die.

Thankfully, my ninth grade science teacher agreed to accept Homer as a donation to the school.

Things worked out well. Homer ended up in a fine, turtle aquarium that was located in one of the science class rooms. He even had a turtle roommate to keep company with.

The life lesson I learned from having to give up my turtle was preparation. I should have done my research and educated myself about turtles and how to care for them before I got one.

The life lesson I learned from having to give up my turtle was preparation. I should have done my research and educated myself about turtles and how to care for them before I got one. I believe my parents would not have reacted so quickly about getting rid of my hard shelled, reptilian, little friend if they felt that I knew how to care for and be safe with the creatures.

Being properly prepared means:

  • You have acquired the additional education needed to do or care for something.
  • You have acquired what is needed to be successful in what you are doing.
  • You have gained mentorship or experience that will help you to do things properly.


The Fish Lesson of Termination

As is the case for many youngsters, my siblings and I had pet fish while we were growing up. I believe that one of the most interesting and relaxing things you can do is to observe fish as they peacefully swim around in a bowl or in an aquarium.

Our childhood consisted of pet gold fish (fresh water fish) and pet tropical fish (salt water fish). One life lesson that can be learned by owning pet fish is the life lesson of termination. Most of the pet fish, that I remember having in the past, didn't seem to live very long. I discovered that you can easily over feed them, or put them in the wrong kind of environment and before you know it, you might see them "belly up," floating in the water.



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Many a small child has had a burial at sea (the toilet ocean) for their pet fish. In so doing, many for the first time, experience the termination of a living thing that they love.

As an individual experiences the demise of a small, scaly, friend they realize that nothing in this life lasts forever. Owning fish can prove to be a poignant life lesson in the termination of all material things.

Many a small child has had a burial at sea (the toilet ocean) for their pet fish. In so doing, many for the first time, experience the termination of a living thing that they love.

The life lesson of termination teaches:

  • Nothing in this life lasts forever.
  • Look beyond the physical.
  • Follow the success law of having contact with and the guidance and continual help of God.
  • Seek treasures that lead to higher, spiritual goals that will always last and not terminate.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33 KJV).

The University of Earth

As we look around us, we can see that the earth, and everything that inhabits the earth, seem to be a part of a huge school or learning facility. Life lessons can be learned from the greatest of creatures to the smallest of creatures. The human language is inundated with proof, that we are learning life lessons, from the many living organisms that dwell on the planet. "Brave as a lion," "busy as a bee," "fast as a gazelle", "sly as a fox", "finicky as a cat", "quite as a mouse," and "wise as an owl" are expressions that only scratch the surface of the many life lessons that can be gleaned from the multitude of sundry creatures that exist on the earth.

By observing or interacting with pets and other sundry creatures, we can learn:

  • Perseverance
  • Resourcefulness
  • Drive
  • Preparation
  • The termination of all material things

While being on earth's campus, each day offers new opportunities to learn life lessons from fellow creatures and animal companions. As we learn; it becomes difficult not to recognize that the earth, and everything that is a part of the earth, seem to have been made by, and belong to, a power much greater than ourselves. That "power" has given all of humanity, a full scholarship to the most prestigious, learning facility of all time. Mankind is fortunate to be able to humbly, and gratefully acknowledge acceptance into the tremendous learning institution called earth.


Do you think that humans can learn about life by observing pets and other animals?

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