Roses are Red, Horse Apples are Smelly, Men Turn Up Their Noses, Lacking Sensitivity

“Advantages prove plentiful to combatants in battle who can discern the difference between truth and falsehood.”

This Valentines Day, as a man, take stock of your perception and understanding of the ability you have to be “sensitive”.

Men, a lot of men, buy candy and flowers ONCE a year, rather begrudgingly.

“I pay the bills!”

“I put food on the table!”

“Why do I need to buy flowers!?!”

Being “sensitive”, in the mind of a “classically trained” man, is painted as something that needs to be stomped out, [a MAN!] doesn’t benefit from being sensitive!

You might be thinking, “sensitive” equals showing uncontrolled “emotions”…

That… my boy, is old school thinking!

Now, usually, I’d be a proponent of “old school” approaches, lots of them are fundamental to building a proper character.

But between the time of Sun Tzu writing The Art of War, one of the oldest, old school writings, and today’s age of open access to knowledge… we’ve lost, or corrupted, the understanding of being “sensitive”.

And I think, that corrupted understanding… has made us weak!

It has caused us to “shrink” from “taking in” waves of information that could help us to broaden our mental vision, instead, leaving us with a very small, myopic view of our personal selves, and of the world around us.

Here are a few thoughts on being “sensitive”, for your consideration today.

  1. Being sensitive today actually implies pain has been applied. “Oh, your just sensitive, like a bad tooth.”
  2. Meaning, we have already shrunk back from taking in any new understandings, hoping against hope, that that tactic will keep us from further harm.
  3. I think we can learn what sensitive really means by using, as an example, the modern day horse.

“El Caballo” no, not Carlos Lee. Equus Caballas.

The Horse. And specifically… the domesticated horse.

Domestication… “the process of taming a wild animal” or, modern man.

The horse was domesticated, give or take, 6000 years ago on the steppes, north of the Black Sea.

Man has been tamed throughout the world by “civilization”.

Why? What does domestication provide?

Bottom line? Cooperation.

Many think using “alpha” techniques to gain cooperation is the only way to go. If you could ask your great-grandpa he’d tell you as much. [And you wouldn’t talk back when he told ya]

In the case of “the horse”, the real trainers of today have figured out a horses “behaviors”. I found one gentleman to be rather enlightening, in his transfer of this knowledge.

I don’t own any horses. But I do have a penchant for them. And in my younger days had opportunity to work with some horses. [Ok, my involvement in “working” with horses consisted of mucking out stalls, feeding, watering, and bailing hay… not so much actually “training”]

A wild stallion is majestic… but you ain’t getting no work out of him!

Domestication of the horse then was needed to take this large, and powerful beast, and create a partner, a beast of burden, a tool, a warrior, a kingly stead. And domestication at its base is taking the individuals who display the positive behaviors of cooperation and mating them with another individual displaying those same characteristics.

How PEOPLE became “sensitive” to that need is another discussion, but they were, and they chose animals that showed inclinations of WANTING to work with them, and on and on it went.

It’s been discovered that “cooperation” within a horse herd doesn’t depend on classical “alpha” interpretations. It isn’t the largest, most aggressive, most powerful horse that is the leader of the herd.

In wild horse bands of the American West, an older female, a mare, regardless of size, is the “leader”, with a herd stallion having duties of being a sentry; a protector; a healthy progenitor… he isn’t leading them to water, grazing area’s, or even out of harms way when a storm pops up.

The horse then, along with it’s natural prey instincts, was developed, or had those instincts enhanced, by domestication, to the point now where a horse is not only aware of a fly landing on it’s upper hindquarter… or a pickup truck starting a 1/2 mile away… but it’s also keenly aware of a person standing calmly in a round pen… and, the horse, not wanting to be the leader per se, is sensitive enough to “feel” the very presence of a calm, collected, and confident trainer/owner.

So much so, that the horse will assume the calm nature of that PERSON who understands that they are the one in charge.

How can we learn from the horse, how to tap into our “sensitive” side, so that we can develop into a more cooperative human being?

I was a sensitive child.

At 9 years old I knew, or could feel, “something isn’t right”. As I looked around at my environment.

That “sensitivity” was never developed. I never learned how to tap into that for the power it held.

It was stomped down within me.

When my children were small I knew I wanted something different for them as they grew up, but I didn’t have the tools yet to implement a “new understanding and better strategy”.

When I would become frustrated with one of them, the only emotion I had was anger, and the only thing I was sensitive to was the fact that I didn’t want to lash out at them in a physical manner.

So I developed a work around… something I learned from a group of Chimpanzees I watched on a Discovery Channel episode relating to “Chimps and their Leaders”.

One particular chimp learned that if he grabbed a metal gas can, and created a lot of noise, and chaos with it, he created the impression amongst his chimp community that he was “the big leader”.

When I would get angry with my kids, not wanting to put my hands on them, and to give myself a gap of time to calm down, I would grab a dinner table chair and “BANG IT!” on the floor, picking it up and slamming it on it’s feet, over and over, until I calmed down and could give my kids their proper attention. Just like that chimp, banging that gas can.

It sounds immature… and it was… but it helped me… my kids laugh, now as adults about it… and it didn’t destroy their abilities to grow into healthy, cooperative, adults.

They are so much better than I was, growing up, and as adults.

As I have been doing the personal work, on my mind, I had come to the conclusion that being “sensitive” is actually a strength. I have learned to be self aware, aware of what my internal emotions are telling me, from the inside out. And because I’ve become sensitive to my emotional state, it has helped me to approach the world in a calmer, collected, confident manner.

And I have watched first hand how my approach, has been picked up on, by those other humans inside the “round pen of life”… I’m calm. [Not a 100% but mostly, and I’m not banging no cans or chairs anymore]

Horses, and people, seem to appreciate that.

If you struggle with the word “sensitive” understand something is going on inside you… but if it helps… here is a different word you might like… DISCERNMENT… looking at the world and having the ability to form a clear picture of what is ACTUALLY happening with, and, around you.

Taking in new information, the energy level of others, and providing yourself with the space that allows you to “NOT KNOW” clearly, right away, helps us in becoming our best version of ourselves.

Becoming a better man than you were yesterday means you are sensitive to the fact that you wanted a change to happen in the first place… you discerned that, you were sensitive to that… you ACTED on that… YOU benefited from that.

Now… let others benefit from that new understanding of what sensitive is… a perfect opportunity is near… don’t wait till the fifteenth to get those flowers… do it now… a few days before the fourteenth!

Remember… our greatest enemy as a man, is our own cold and jaded, made up mind, which has lost all sensitivity and discernment, it refuses to grow.

If you ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & ENGAGE… with your mind, with your horse, or whoever it is you’re buying those flowers for… you are learning the power of being sensitive… even to the point of discerning the difference between the aromas of… Red Roses and Horse Apples!

[Little bonus tidbit… know what the best soil amendment IS for Red Roses? Yep, Horse Apples]

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