The Wisdom of Animals


Animals don’t set out to teach us anything
at all – but we all have a lot to learn from our interactions with them nevertheless.
Imagine that we come back from work unusually late. It’s been a tricky day: a threatened
resignation, an enraged supplier, a lost document, two delayed trains… But none of the mayhem
is of any concern to one friend waiting by the door uncomplicatedly pleased to see us:
Pippi, a two-year-old Border Terrier with a continuous appetite for catching a deflated
football in her jaws. She wants to play in the usual way, even if it’s past nine o’clock
now, with us in the chair and her sliding around the kitchen, and, unexpectedly, so
do we. We’re not offended by her lack of overall interest in us. It’s at the root
of our delight. Here, at last, is someone wholly indifferent to almost everything about
us except for our dexterity at ball-throwing, someone who doesn’t care about the Brussels
meeting, who will forgive us for not warning the finance department in time about the tax
rebates and for whom the Lisbon conference is beyond imagining. One of the most consoling
aspects of animals – it might be a dog, a sheep, a lizard or a beetle – is that
their priorities have nothing whatsoever to do with our own perilous and tortured agendas.
They are redemptively unconcerned with everything we are and want. They implicitly mock our
self-importance and absorption and so return us to a fairer, more modest sense of our role
on the planet. A sheep doesn’t know about our feelings of jealousy, it has no interest
in our humiliation and bitterness around a colleague; it has never emailed. On a walk
in the hills, it simply ambles towards the path we’re on and looks curiously at us,
then takes a lazy mouthful of grass, chewing from the side of his mouth as though it were
gum. Ducks nibble
at the weeds, waddle down to the water and paddle about in circles without any interest
in which century it happens to be from a human point of view; they’ve never heard of the
economy; they don’t know what country they live in; they don’t have new ideas or regret
what happened yesterday. They don’t care about the career hurdles or relationship status
of the person who sprinkles a few bread crumbs near them. Time around animals invites us
into a world in which most of the things that obsess us have no significance – which corrects
our characteristic over-investment in matters which make only a limited contribution to
the essential task of existence: to be kind, to make the most of our talents, to love and
to appreciate. we believe in making the world a more emotinally intelligent place. To that end we have also produced some extra ordinary books. As well as other merchandise that re-enforces some of the themes illustraited in our videos. Please click on the link below to see more.

100 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Animals

  1. we are the mammals with the largest brain size proportional to our body. of course we going to have more complex thought therefore complex stress than them

  2. Hey School Of Life, thank you for the video! Would you guys consider making a video on animal rights?

  3. I learnt more about God from my pet budgie than I did from any priest. Sounds shallow I know but 100% true.

  4. In the same way, I often think about what does matter to the ducks in the pond outside my uni library. Is there a popular duck? Is one duck feeling left out? What is going on in pond politics? Are they mean to the coots? Are there duck stories that they tell their ducklings? Is there duck history?

  5. Something I always thought was facinating about dogs, if they have puppies born with physical/mental illnesses, they'll kill the puppies. Is this evil or wisdom???

  6. What was the fucking point of this video? Nearly all of your videos are like this. A slow paced soothing voice over to create a sense of emotional reliability but you just wang to exploit the emotionally unaware. I just love how you plug your book and merchandise at the end.

  7. The right title for this video should be "Animals don't give a shit about anithing, expecially ducks"

  8. Please learn about Resource Based Economy. We are not happy, because we live in a new form of slavery, doing thing that does not have a meaning to us, just for the benefit of the rich, causing us to feel meaningless and stressed.

  9. & also to follow your instincts! that's one of the greatest lessons animals can teach us, I think, is to utilize your intuition and have it become a necessary tool in your life

  10. "They implicitly mock our self importance and absorption…" You should try raising a black lab puppy, their mockery seems pretty explicit to me. Their taunting is relentless as if they KNOW how to extract every bit of attention from you. Certain breeds of dogs tend to play mind games with you.

  11. Just to clarify: we're not taking a view on whether animals are wise, we're looking at some ways we ourselves can become a little wiser via thinking about animals.

  12. If you can start the day without caffeine,
    if you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

    If your love for man does not erode with habit and time but always remains steadfastly the same,
    If you can accept verbal and physical abuse without resentment or revenge,
    If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
    If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

    If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
    If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when something goes wrong – through no fault of yours,
    If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

    If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
    If you only read the intention and heart of a man and not his external appearance,
    If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
    If you would give your life away without a moment of doubt in the name of Love,

    If you can conquer tension without medical help,
    If you can relax without liquor,
    If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, race, religion or politics,

    Then, my friends, you will have approached the level of spiritual development of your dog.

  13. I'm so happy that you've done a video on this issue. I often feel that my dog adds meaning and perspective to my life. It's really nice to see that bond taken seriously and given philosophical consideration as our relationship to animals forms an often overlooked but important part in our lives.

  14. 1:19 I too go through the struggle of being crucified daily. Glad you guys understand the struggle.

  15. My dog taught me if you like someone and you wanna fuck them, hump their leg to get them interested. It works!

  16. I have ducks and rabbits that live around my house and they always give me a new perspective on my day.

  17. So, forget about everything that makes you human. Be an animal. angst, meaningless situations and obligations are what makes us human, the very philosophical thought is meaningless and no animal can perform this except the human being. Sometimes Alain isn't always right. specially on those self-help videos.

  18. School of Life – Make a video about the illuminati and the dark secrets of Hollywood

  19. how can you compare a duck with an intellect of a stone to a human. this video is dumb, illogical and pointless. what a waste.

  20. Man ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and was cast out of Eden. The animals did not.

  21. The point of this video is well intended. Unfortunately it much of its assertions just isn't factual. Just because we don't see it or understand it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. EX for the longest time we (didn't think that elephants could use tools} the problem was we didn't take into account how we were testing them. Once that was realized they easily could use tools.

  22. Man has the ability to make the invisible visible. Manipulating the laws of nature to his whim, with the wielding force of power within his grasp. Surely, there's something distinct about man that clearly seperates his station from that of the animal's, just as the animal's station is distinct from that of the vegetable, and the vegetable's​ station from that of the mineral. We can infer the existence of something from it's signs, and thus we can infer the divinity that lies within man from his displays of great power.

  23. My dog notices my emotions. He becomes distressed if my fiancé and I are angry and arguing. He paces our apartment and hides under the bed. He is very concerned when I cry. He won't leave me alone. He sits by me and sometimes licks the tears from my face. I appreciate all animals but dogs are able to connect with humans in such a lovely unique way. I feel like Blaze really cares for me just as I do for him.

  24. "The more I learned from animals, the more I hate people" Mark Twain…after watching this video 😀

  25. what about when we kill animals because we would rather drive to work instead of walking or whatever?

    then theyre affected

  26. I used to think this channel was dope, now that I've watched about 30 vids, I realize it's clickbait… cool headlines with zero substance, unless you don't have common sense or never went to school.

  27. Animals don't need to worry that much as much as ours they live a simple and normal life. We see them as a creature with simple needs and worry less life, it's like a reminder to us that we (humans) should enjoy simple things in life without rushing it in the end, because it would only lead us into stress and impatience.
    Thanks animals, especially cats <3

  28. I love your videos but it would be better if you increased the level of the voice because sometimes it's hard to understand what he's saying. Just an observation. Thanks

  29. SCHOOL OF LIFE HELP ME: can you guys help me with my cousin she is my best friend, who has been through alot in her life and she is depressed and she thinks that her boyfriend who cheated on her can save her from herself than the people who truly are willing to help her. i just want a video talking about helping someone who is depressed and help saving themself from suicide, also a video talking about cheating, forgiveness and trust. your videos have tought me so much and help save my parents relationship. I thank you.

  30. U can learn a lot of animals like the social aspects. So my dog started biting his own tail,when he wants to bite , so that he does not hurt anybody else then himself. So whenever i try to diss or make a funny , but personal joke about somebody else I do it about myself. And this really helped me because i did not hurt anybody else then myself and other people like to laugh about self- irony / making fun of urself.
    Greeting from Germany

  31. Reminds me of Walt Whitman's poem, The Beasts.

    I THINK I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d;
    I stand and look at them long and long.
    They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
    They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
    They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
    Not one is dissatisfied—not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
    Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
    Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

  32. As you've mentioned a number of times that we're fated to be lonely, and that one should try to be comfortable with being single. However it was never explained how one should do this, at least that I was able to find. Could you maybe elaborate, School of Life?

  33. We evolved bigger brains to handle exactly the kinds of things other animals don't bother with. Mathematics, jobs, money, society, etc, …

    We thrive as a species because we are capable of forming complex societal structures through bigger brains.

  34. i love these video illustrations; they are where i go to smile, and to feel ok.
    i love u………SCHOOL OF LIFE……….thank u for sharing so delightfully

  35. Animal don't care about economy and stuff because they can survive in the wild and we dependent on money

  36. We humans create stupid rules for ourselves and don't realize we've become slaves to other people's dreams. We work for other people so we can get money to live our miserable lives and we don't ever pursue what we love. We think by pursuing what we love, we won't make money to buy the unnecessary crap we want and we don't stop for a second to think our lives are meaningless in this way. We go out and get married and have kids and realize that we never really lived and now we have responsibilities that we have to deal with because we are poor planners and we seek instant gratification.

    I've decided to not live my life like this. I refuse to have kids because I don't know how to take care of them (90% of parents don't know either so they "raise" kids with a tv). I've decided to live life for me only. It's selfish by sheep's standards, but I don't really care what other's think because it's my life and mine alone.

  37. Hi, Alain. I just wanted to tell you I bought two of your books "Status Anxiety" and "Religion for Atheists". I am looking forward to every video SOL you're putting out and I hope my little purchase helps. Thank you for what you do; For shaping the world to be a little bit, nicer.

  38. animals dont care about this video and don't care about links, like, subscribe and Internet, and don't care about how others think and the philosophy behind. So in conclusion, we should forget this video and continue my life as Homo sapiens.

  39. Dogs don't care:
    -if you need a bath.
    -who your friends are.
    -if are always unemployed.
    -what your religion is.
    -if you're a lazy drunk.
    -how much money you have.
    -what you look like.
    -if you lie, cheat, and steal.
    -if you also like other animals.
    -if you're not cool.

  40. There are many humans who are like dogs and sheep, content with the little things. But you forget that lions worry about taking over (and losing) the pride and birds worry about other birds stealing their nest. There is violence and cunning even in the animal world. But there is a code of conduct and respect for nature which we self-absorbed humans are too dumb to comprehend…

  41. I am such a broken human being. Everyone of your videos brings tears to my eyes as I revisit past regrets….. where I treated myself or others as less than.

    This on reminded me of the saying, "I want to be the person my dog thinks I already am."

  42. Bee cares not for flower, if getting pollen hurt or killed flower bee would not care. Bee is stronger than flower.

  43. But sheep actually do feel jealousy or at least something similar. At least the Bighorn sheep who fight for women.

  44. as a devils advocate i would say, when i watch animals, i see the things told in the video, but i also see them fight for food, trying to fuck or kill each other.
    a that is very related to our own behavior.

  45. The true wisdom of animals: taking life as it is and adapting to it instead of worrying about things outside of our control and insisting the world be what we want it to be

  46. The world of people with its environment, problems, everyday affairs is much different from the animal world. Indeed, sometimes it seems to us that their world is simpler and they are interested in fewer problems and things than us. In their world, we often have an important or central role. That's why we are pleased to spend time with animals. But I do not think so. The animals world is different, but it is not simpler than ours and often much more cruel. Indeed, they are not interested in politics, economics, time and position of a person in society. But they have their own specific interests and wishes, which are as important to them as the economy for us. Sometimes we just like to forget about our problems and live in their world with their priorities and wishes. But I think it's hardly that any of the people really would like to turn into a dog, duck or a sheep.

  47. The zoom out from the animals to the crucifixes was an amazing way to make a point. And the poor goat who has never emailled. 😀

  48. If you did one on why Tesla found comfort in the social intelligence of pigeons, it'd break reddit.

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