Pity the poor rat. Though usually lithe and lean, we often talk only about the rotund members of the family. And we seem almost obsessed with their derrieres, as if the conniving rodents’ brains had nothing to do with their survival in less than idyllic circumstances.
Worst of all, is our total and utter contempt for the Southbound ends of the Northbound varmints. How many times have you uttered the dismissive “I wouldn’t give a fat rat’s patoot for…” for, well, whatever it is that you hold in such low esteem.
But these are no ordinary critters. The rat endures the FLUX of its lived experience in ways that truly “survive and thrive.” In fact, we could learn a lot about building our own FLUX Capacity from the lowly rat. As the good folks at Crowley’s Pest Control write, “The survival skills and physical prowess of rats are unmatched by any other mammal.”
Here are a few choice bits of rat facts:
“There are no mammals that have the resilience of rodents. And no rodent has survived better than rats.”
“Colonies of roof rats lived on the Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific throughout ten years of atomic bomb testing. The soil of these islands was literally burned off and tidal waves inundated them. The rats not only survived in their underground burrows; they appeared to suffer no ill effects from the high levels of nuclear radiation.”
“they have flexible skeletons that can compress and expand enabling them to squeeze through a pipe the width of a quarter. Rats can hold their breath for four minutes; they can get flushed down a toilet and live.”
[rats] “can jump two feet to the top of a garbage can – three feet with a running start. this is the equivalent of a human leaping from the driveway up to the roof of the garage.”
What the FLUX?!
In life, whether you are a rat or a bipodal humanoid, you are constantly in the FLUX. Things that we took for granted as stable and predictable every day, can suddenly change in ways ranging from mildly annoying to hugely catastrophic. What worked yesterday may not work today.
So. . . what’s a FLUXed rat to do?
Don’t freak out just because you’ve been nuked. When life drops a mushroom cloud, you’re not necessarily covered in shiitakes. Take a deep breath, and tell your amygdala to wait a minute. Don’t let your emotions narrow your ability to act in the moment.
Pay attention, not only in the ways you always have. Suspend your judgment of what you are seeing and what it means, to be open to new interpretation. Watch what others are doing in similar situations, and what happens to them.
Keep learning; keep trying. Maybe something you know or something you can do will work. Maybe not. But if you don’t try, you can be pretty sure your patoot isn’t worth a thing.
Explore the dark tunnels. It might seem crazy, and it might not work. But you’ll get a better understanding of your options, and you just might find a way to get through this.
You might not know a rat’s patoot from a fine cheroot, but building your FLUX capacity can get you through it.
Quotes from Cowley’s Pest Control retrieved on 21 December 2015, at http://www.cowleys.com/pests-we-treat/rodents/rats-survival-skills.html
By Bruce Waltuck, (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved