It has been described as the King of the Nile but it can also be found in Asia, Australia, North and South America and the Middle East. Even the bible acknowledges this huge reptile, calling it Leviathan. In Job 41:2, God asks Job: Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? In this post we shall attempt to draw some lessons from the characteristics of the crocodile.
The first thing that you will probably notice about the crocodile, and a major distinguishing factor between it and its cousin the alligator is the fourth tooth of the lower jaw which it bares even when it’s jaws are shut. Another distinction is that the crocodile has a long slender snout.
The crocodile is a reptile, cold blooded. It also has a tough scaly skin. You probably may have heard of tales of hunters who has to shoot at the crocodile somewhere between its head and body, the spot where its skin is tender in order to hurt it. This kind of reminds me how as humans we all have weak spots. Unfortunately, some of us have an endless fold of sensitive skin. We are quick to take offence and we see the slightest jokes as an insult. A good advice would be to grow thick skin and learn to ignore. As a popular journal once said, ‘if it is a passing comment, let it pass’.
We have strong reasons to develop a thick skin at this point in man’s history. Have you noticed how more and more people are less kind? How many people would always resort to trading insults when you cross their path? Developing a thick skin will surely prevent you from getting unnecessarily worried or losing sleep over their actions. You will accept it as a sign of the times but would not be drawn to rolling in the mire with them. Interestingly, crocodile skin tough is sensitive to the world around it including temperatures and rate of acidity of water. We should also note volatile conditions and avoid them. This might involve physically walking away from a situation that can likely degenerate into a fight.
Would you walk away from a twitfight?
Note that if the crocodile chooses to attack, you may never be able to outrun it. However, like his relative the snake, the crocodile does not go out of its way to look for a fight.
The crocodile is no pretender. It bares its teeth …always. The crocodile clearly tells you: keep off, I bite. How many of us can be that honest about who we are? I often hear of ladies in relationships who hide all the bad stuff until they ‘hook’ the guy, and then they show their true colours. If you are so proud of whom you are, why hide it?
Sadly, many of us are not crocodile-like. We are pretenders, hypocritical. We will condemn something only when it suits us and turn a blind eye when we or a close friend will stand to benefit. I have often asked friends: if you or a close friend had an opportunity to benefit from corruption in Nigeria, would you be so critical of Nigeria?
Crocodiles are very territorial, but when there is a drought they give up this attribute for the survival of all. Crocodiles know there is a time for everything. Do you?
There is a time to fight and a time to be friends. Election time is always a time to ‘fight’. We route for candidates and campaign for the person we believe will make the best ruler. But after the elections? When someone emerges as winner do we keep fighting? Or do we move on to the next phase of working either as the supporters or the opposition to make things work out for the best. Do you know what time it is?
The biggest crocodile fact I learnt while researching for this post is that crocodiles never stop growing. They grow very fast when they are young but their growth slows down when they are older, but they never stop growing. Does this not remind you of the saying, there’s never an end to learning?
How many times have you heard someone say that when they learn something new? Yet, how many people make it a point of duty to learn something new every day. We have the internet, everything we could ever need to learn is stored here and then some. Yet, you find people come here to ask the basest questions that a few minutes on Google would answer. Yes, it sounds rude to tell people to go ask Google, but perhaps people shouldn’t wait to be asked, they should take the initiative to do research.
The truth is, when you ask a question, you will be told exactly what you need to know, but when you do research you will find out much more than you were looking for. For example, a few days ago, someone tweeted about client briefs and said they are called briefs because they should be brief. I was tempted to contradict her immediately. I knew there were briefs that were quite lengthy. But instead of doing that I decided to use Google. From Google, I learnt there are different types of briefs, I had been thinking of a creative brief while she was talking about a client’s brief: there’s never an end to learning.
Be a croc, learn something new today.
#lessonsfromanimals continues next week.
I am anabagail on Twitter.