It’s old news—but to me still sad news—that a baby minke
whale that swam into
Dolphins and whales are supposed to be as smart as human beings. But they have no TVs and no Nintendo and no airplanes, no SUVs, beach houses, snowmobiles, cigarettes, governments, or even Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. How do they keep those massively elegant brains occupied?
I’ve often wondered if being a smart animal is such a great thing. A big brain seems to mean a lot of thinking and our thinking is what we humans are always trying to escape from. Sometimes it’s as though we use half our brain to figure out what terrible thing could happen to us and the other half to worry about it.
Frankie, my little dog, never worries. They say she has a smaller brain which means she isn’t as smart. But if she isn’t as smart, how does she know never to worry? She likes to lie in the sun. When the sun moves to a different spot, she moves to a different spot. How big a brain do you need?
The thing about the whales and the dolphins is that they have brains as big as us, and have intelligence as sophisticated as ours. I can’t help thinking, though, that if whales and dolphins have the same size brains as us and yet they are content to swim around and not asphalt over the planet, they know more than us.
I read with horror that the baby minke swam around our polluted water for a couple of days and then suddenly thrashed around, beached itself, and died.
They say it was too young to survive without its mother, but I can’t help thinking it died because it came into our dirty environment, into our water where we throw so much garbage and so many toxins that marine life can’t live. Even though we have brains as big as a whale’s, it makes me wonder if we’re anywhere near as smart.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.