Even though Hurricane Harvey did everything it could to try and keep us from continuing our series, Six Words to Change Your Life, it was not successful. Sure, it made us change from six words to five words and finally back to six words. And yes, it even made us change the original six words. The original six were: No, Yes, Thanks, Sorry, Help and Wow. When we moved to doing only five words, we chose these five: No, Yes, Thanks, Sorry, and Wow. Then when we went back to six, we didn’t go back to the original six. Instead we used these: No, Yes, Thanks, Nevertheless, Sorry and Wow. That means the word for Sunday should be Sorry, but we discussed it and decided given the events of Harvey and Irma, we should look at the word Help instead. The 6 words that will now change your life? No, Yes, Thanks, Nevertheless, Help and Wow.
Are you as confused as I am? Let me try to make it simple. Harvey tried to ruin the series but Harvey failed! This Sunday we are looking at a word many of us don’t use very well. I guess we have come to believe that we are self-sufficient, that we don’t need anybody else and so sometimes we find it hard to ask for Help. But maybe we can learn a lesson from some horses.
According to some scientists from Kobe University in Japan, when horses have a problem that they can’t solve themselves, they don’t mind asking for some help. This group of scientists, with too much time on their hands conducted an experiment that they published in the always-exciting journal Animal Cognition.
Here’s how the experiment worked. First, the researchers placed carrots in a bucket inaccessible to the horses. Then, a human caretaker would arrive. The researchers observed that the horses displayed certain behaviors that could be interpreted as asking the human for help: Standing near the human, looking at them, touching and even pushing them. They did these things more frequently than in a control group where no carrots were hidden.
They found that hiding carrots in a bucket that was maddeningly inaccessible to horses prompted the animals to ask for assistance. When human caretakers who were unaware of the hidden food placement came on scene, the horses in the test lingered near them, looking at them and even nudging them, as if to say: “Ummm, that bucket over there has some carrots in it! Little help?”
Just saying . . .