I am borrowing the term ‘domestication’ from Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the Four Agreements. A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book). If you’ve listened to any of my podcasts you know I am very fond of the Toltecs and their way of living in our universe.
But this week’s episode is specifically about the process we humans experience as we grow that essentially teaches us how to live. On the one hand this process is perfectly necessary and enables us to interact with our fellow human beings. Domestication teaches us the ‘rules of life’ so we don’t kill each other or eat each others’ french fries. There are some norms, rules, and even laws that improve both our individual lives and the lives of the human population. But some times we go WAY too far.
Domestication isn’t about teaching your kids the Golden Rule. No one is going to argue that treating each other like we want to be treated is not a great idea. It’s also not about us learning not to punch each other over every little disagreement. Nor is harmful to teach your kids to speak when spoken to and to smile when people are kind. These norms and rules just make sense so that we all get along and get our basic needs met.
Domestication often gets a little unruly after that, though. There exists some basic, and very short, list of the fundamental ‘rules of life’ that begins with the Golden Rule and ends 4 or 5 rules later, but as we add more and more rules we start to lose sight of the purpose of these rules.
And I’m not even talking about speed limits and seat belt laws. Those are probably pretty good laws/rules/norms that help keep more people alive. No, I’m talking about the little rules. The in-between-the-lines rules. I’m talking about traditional, conceptual ideas about how we ‘should’ be and live that start to push away from the Are and more toward the Should. This week I’ll talk a bit about that and much more as we continue investigating the Are vs Should Problem.