Jeff Lazarus has written a real solid self-help book: Listen like a dog - And Make Your Mark on the World - published by HCI Books.
True and enjoyable, why this necessity of putting into words something so curious as the title is? Our new incapacity of listening other people. Our lack of attention for the other human being.
And so the idea inspired by Jeff Lazarus's dog: our dogs and their less, complicated and much more genuine world an example for everyone.
After all a dog is this: immense love for the owner, participation of all the joys and sadness of a family, they donate a lot of fun and the possibility of developing great and healthy relationship and connections with them.
Lazarus starts to affirming that, yes, OK it's true, man is a social animal as we all know, but during these last 20 years, with the boom of the net, and with the advent of many other ways for communicating virtually, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsup, we have lost the capacity of listening and understanding other people.
We are social, but in a different way from the past.
Our interactions deteriorated a lot.
Many people just don't have time for other people. There is virtual life that can be best and can be used as a substitute of normal one.
Problem is that there are less real friends now than not 20 years ago and a deterioration of friendship with the arrival of virtual communications. Possible? We have many friends on FB or in other social network and there is more solitude in general.
Jeff Lazarus is not tender with this new trend, where communication, normal one, "de visu", as Latin would say drastically reduced, the use also of the phone sometimes gone thanks to other modality of communication. Adults, teenagers born during the boom of the net, everyone involved in the changes created by the born of this new Net Age.
Once, Lazarus has a dog, he started to talk to him. Not a normal talk, but a long long long conversation about life, his problems, what was going on in his life and he discovered, surprisingly, that the dog paid attention to him in a modality absolutely unknown to most of the people with which he speaks with everyday.
A dog is interested at our life, says Lazarus, and we should always take example by this creature. He doesn't judge us, he accepts us for who we are, he loves the way we are. He doesn't want anyone else apart us and he is always available for listening with genuine interest. He is emphatic. A dog knows the meaning of tragedies and feel joys, happiness and unhappiness of a family.
Devoted to the owner, a dog has the capacity of eye contact, more rare between humans.
A dog, is the answer and the example we should all follow for trying to re-establish proper communications.
Through various and diversified examples people will learn again to be socials. A healthy socialization.
The author encourages everyone at being open to new people. At "sniffing" as dogs do, new people. Well, not literally. I mean: not as little Doc. Dolittle did in the movie, for specifying.
But...Talking with strangers is important. In supermarket, in public places, because we can open new doors at other fantastic souls although for just few minutes and this one is an enrichment.
The main problem of communication?
We don't want to listen anymore, complains the author. We interrupt people, we want to have always the last word, and we don't give importance to other people as for example a dog does.
It's a beautiful human and animal trip this one of Jeff Lazarus that will bring you through various modality of behavior, human and...canine comparing all the time the various differences between humans and canines and what it is best for us to copy from a dog's behavior.
Jeff Lazarus thinks that we should return to be frank, honest. He says a lot has been lost.
It would be important to be who we are because as also added once Oscar Wilde, everyone else is taken.
And first of all let's try to re-discover humanity, silence, - dogs love silence and to them it's not embarrassing as it is for humans - patience, so that you can listen and understand, appreciating what the other person is saying. Every human being is a gift donated to this world.
One of the main errors of our times is interrupting continuously the person with which we are talking with.
A very interesting chapter the power of words.
Our doggie friend can be helpful also with our routine. Dogs have a proper routine, man constantly unsatisfied. Wherever we are we would love to be somewhere else but changing is difficult also in the little daily situations taken in consideration by Lazarus. A lot of suggestions and thoughts for trying to improve our behavior.
Every chapter with the example of famous TV series dog, like Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, or other famous dogs that said a lot as examples for local communities and owners.
The author mentions a line from my favorite doggy book:
So much language is unspoken.
So much of language is comprised of looks and gestures and sounds that are not words. People are ignorant of the vast complexity of their own communication
(from The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein).
Dogs are generous animals. They help us to stay happy, balanced, they donate joy and happiness,dogs can guide people to find their way.
And not just practically. When we are sad and unhappy they are of great comfort.
A great advice giving by the author is not to change a dog constricting him to become a sorta of semi-human creature, but to start, considering the good qualities of a dog, to be an imitation of him, because dogs can let us change the perception of our reality and bettering our behavior, becoming better people.
Great book, sometimes I found repetition of concepts here and there, but maybe it's better because it gives more force at the book and ideas remains more and I would have preferred a more colored cover, (the dog is fantastic, the grey put down), for the rest go for it with the certainty of buying a very good book! It can be a great good gift if you know someone in love for dogs or someone in search of inspiration for a real change.
A dog can help! :-)
Thanks to Netgalley for this book!
Anna Maria Polidori