I was always scared of dogs. Whenever they walk towards me, I unconsciously step back little by little. There is a reason why I am so afraid of dogs. It was a time when I was still living in America. One bright afternoon, my Japanese friend invited me to her house for the first time. When I arrived at her house and rang her doorbell, I heard her voice saying "Welcome!" and with her voice, I noticed something strange. I heard a dog barking from inside of her house, and suddenly a gigantic, fluffy dog jumped at me and pushed me down to the floor. I could not feel anything other than complete shock. It was a golden retriever. Since this trauma, I cannot feel affection for dogs, except for cute -- little! -- puppies. However, if I think back now, that golden retriever was just expressing how happy she was with her whole body. I could not understand the body language that dogs use instead of a voice that humans can hear.
While you are living daily life, do you have time to interact with an animal? Do you have a pet? An animal cannot speak a language; however, humans can learn a lot more than we think. Humans can learn from the action that animals take, the unique personalities that animals have, and the endearment that animals show even without voices. Interaction with any animal teaches us an important lesson which carries a message.
Firstly, the endearment that animals express without speaking our language. Until I was age fifteen, I had a dog. She was a Maltese and had a tiny white body. She was one year older than me and believed that she was at a higher level than me in our family hierarchy. She was a cute dog; however, because she thought she was a higher rank than me, so she barked fiercely whenever I passed through her sight. Even though she was my grandmother's dog, we interacted almost every day. When it was time for her to pass away, she clambered into my grandma's bed in the night and snuggle as if showing her appreciation. Animals are good at expressing their emotions even without having a language like humans do. This teaches humans to speak out when we are happy, speak if you are sad, tell your friend that you are lonely.... We have a very valuable language to help us express our emotions, so we should be more free in expressing them.
Secondly, we can use unique characteristics of animals for medical care. Have you thought about the pain you experience from having an injection for the flu or allergies? How is it that we do not notice when we are bitten by a mosquito? Mosquitoes actually stab our skin with their needles in order to suck our blood, but why don't we feel it? Scientist collected the data of mosquito needles to try to use mosquito's thin needles for injections and successfully making an injection for those who have diabetes. Similarly, using the same methods as gecko's feet -- which allow them to climb whether a surface is a slippery or rough -- some scientists created a special adhesion tape. These unique characteristics of animals give engineers hints for nature-inspired technology to make our lives easier or help our society.
Finally, what can we learn from the behavior of animals? There are many examples of what humans can learn from the actions that animals take. If their owner comes home, they fly to the front door and greet them happily with their tongue hanging out. If a person's heart is sinking, they will quietly snuggle up beside them and give comfort. During the meal, they enjoy the taste of their food, and have great enthusiasm for eating delicious foods. They never miss the chance to go outside like when their owner decides to go for a walk. Also, their sleeping time is important to their lives. From these examples, animals can teach humans a lot of lessons, from basic common sense to deeper lessons. Every animal's action has a meaning for it and a message for us. Animal teaches us to appreciate the present moment or situation we are in and how meaningful it is to love and be loved back.
In conclusion, it is clear how humans are inspired by animals and animals actually teach us many lessons for life. In the affection that animals create, the particular characteristics that animals naturally possess, and the actions which animals take, these animals are demonstrating lessons like a model character. Nowadays, most people have a pet to help them feel comfort or to just relax. These people know that we can learn much by keeping animals in our lives. Even though animals cannot speak a language to discuss their emotions, they are much better at communicating with others, and this is part of why we need to respect animals. Humans need to be more genuinely ourselves, and also, precisely because we have great communication tools to express our feelings, we need to speak up with no hesitation.
Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Saya Kuromatsu, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.