From A Writer’s Year by Sally J. Walker
“Looking for the Familiar in Animals”
The media has given us many examples of strange human-like apparitions in everything from the face of Christ in a potato to Satan’s likeness in the smoke of the Twin Towers. Psychology explains the “visions” as our search for other human faces or “familiar” images. This is how a newborn learns to track Mom’s face then other care givers in its world.
I believe this is another reason we tend to humanize our animal counterparts in this world. On your next visit to the zoo or a farm, watch how the PEOPLE respond to the animals. What are the children looking for or at when they stare at an animal? Why is there an almost palpable spark between the humans and the primates? How long does any human actually look into the eyes of the animal on display? And how often are the comments about human-like behaviors?
There is no right or wrong to these observations. I am simply observing that we tend to look for behaviors or expressions that mirror our humanity, a point of connection, and the psychologists have identified this as perfectly normal.
Now, O Writer, what can you do with this information and this awareness?