The Psychology Of A Raccoon

Yesterday President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un signed agreements to reduce nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula, there was a release of hostages and remains of those who have died, and they generally made the world a safer place. The thing is, NO ONE CARES. What the world does care about is the raccoon climbing a skyscraper in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s a strange thing because we never stop to mourn them when we see them dead at the side of the road. Sometimes the highway near my house is the valley of death for these little critters, and yet this spider-raccoon hybrid had the world on its side. Why?

Because this bold little beast kept going, and people like to see things work out how they should, and this raccoon put in so much work that anything other than a happy ending would be the universe handing out a miscarriage of justice. The hopes of a well-balanced universe, the deserved happy ending for the hard work, and the release of anxious hearts and minds all rested on the shoulders of this one animal a couple of hundred feet up the side of a building. If you don’t believe there was anxiety and stress, check out this hashtag on Twitter:

People stayed up late to see the outcome. There was an outpouring of goodwill, rage that “someone” hadn’t done something to save it. There were comments from all over the world, and well-wishers in their thousands. This raccoon’s reaction “Wassup, I’m just chillin'” before setting off again.

The reality is that as humans we put our thoughts and motivations on others, including raccoons. We were worried about it falling. I am not an expert in animal psychology, but I would bet the raccoon wasn’t thinking about not falling. Two thoughts kept it going – “What now?” and “What next?” Behaviours would be the focus, what do I need to do to survive. There were positive thoughts and focus, and getting to safety was the goal

Here are today’s three takeaways:

1 – Unlike the whales, the raccoon had freedom and could choose its behaviours and path. This meant there is hope.

2 – As the top trending story on Twitter, this raccoon captured the hearts of many. Here’s the important thing – if you can be inspired by a raccoon, you can be inspired by people as well. Go find the right people!

3 – Don’t focus on not falling, focus on climbing.

It’s a rough world, and sometimes we just need to see an underdog, or an under-raccoon, get a win. Watching a tiny animal take on and beat a skycraper is a definite win for the world, and one that we all need to see from time to time.

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