Sunday, February 8, 2009

Boarish Behavior

Boars get a bad rap. At least that is my assessment after hearing an interesting story the other day.

I attended the wedding of a friend. I didn’t know anyone except the bride and my spouse, CB. As we waited to go into the reception area, CB and I chatted with a few of the guests. One nice couple lived close to the resort where the wedding was held. Eventually, the conversation segued to the beauty of the desert terrain and interesting wildlife that inhabited the area.

After a humorous tale about rattle snakes and swimming pools, one gentleman talked about how the entrance of his home became a makeshift maternity clinic. He described the scenario. It was a cold night and a pregnant javelina (wild pig) sought safety and warmth to deliver her baby. The mother lay near the front door, protected on three sides by the house. The remaining side was open. However, nine other javelina came to the rescue and formed a semi circle in front of the pregnant sow – offering protection and warmth. Once the sow delivered, the boars went on their way back into the desert.

I found this story very inspiring. In my mind’s eye I envisioned these hairy beasts lying on their sides, the vapor of their breath rising in the night air. It must have been very reassuring to the pregnant sow to have her comrades at her side while she brought her little one into the world. I had no idea that javelina had such a cooperative nature. I usually think of boars as rude, selfish and uncaring. In fact, I can’t even tell you how many times I have heard the word “boar,” or a derivative, used to describe unsavory behavior and characteristics.

I also thought about how inspiring it was to hear this simple tale. Rather than a superficial discussion of the weather, it was refreshing to hear a story that offered hope and inspiration. If boars can work together in a cold and dangerous situation, then surely human beings can too.

As the wedding festivities continued throughout the evening, we talked to a variety of individuals. One woman spent several years teaching brain-damaged children to swim. Another couple (who had been married for 60 years) shared the secrets of a long and happy marriage. We applauded as a five-year-old boy provided dance moves that were just as entertaining as “Dancing with the Stars”. It was an incredible and joyful evening.

The next day I did a mental recap of the previous night, it occurred to me that wonderful events like this are not unique. They take place every day. In contrast to the numerous reports I have heard about how marriages are failing, I witnessed several happy couples (many who had been married 40 years and longer) dancing cheek to cheek. We talked to teachers, pet sitters, bankers and doctors who had found ways to make the world a better place.

These folks may not be featured on Oprah, hang out with Paris Hilton or make the cover of People magazine, but their stories are just as important as the depressing sagas reported in the media. In fact, I would suggest these happy stories are even more important because they provide us with laughter, hope and inspiration.

In our upcoming book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within, we offer advice on how to develop an optimistic viewpoint. If javelina can work together to make a difference, than just imagine what human beings can do.

As Featured On EzineArticles

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