Grade 7 Science has opened my eyes to many things I have taken for granted about relationships. I never had this kind of connection with Science until I attended a class as part of my functions as supervisor of teacher performance.
Miss Lyn opened the lesson on “Interactions in the Ecosystem” with the question: what do you do in order to interact with the other members of the class? what do animals do if in their own environment? Answers ranged from talking, listening to protecting and killing. Then, the parade of concepts about how organisms interact in the ecosystem proceeded. From the the leading questions, to the concept-forming questions and the synthesizing and valuing questions, I gathered my own thoughts about a few of these interactions:
Mutualism, the art of “give and take”
Being with someone-sharing innermost thoughts and feelings, contributing to the the other’s emotional and spiritual growth, nurturing passions and whims- is not a one-way street. However, living and keeping up with giving when taking is bliss, sometimes clouds the connection. When a person graces you with attention, concern and care, sometimes you feel overwhelmed that you forget that you have the obligation to make the other person feel the same, not exactly the same way but in the way you know how. Sharing mutual feelings allows us to be inventive and imaginative as to how we can reciprocate joy whenever we get the feeling from someone’s efforts to amuse us. Mutual understanding also breeds respect and trains us to be sensitive, in a way that we avoid words and actions that we know shall cause us pain and dissatisfaction if we were given the same treatment. Mutual understanding values connection even without words spoken, making love more heartfelt because you may be able to make someone feel precious even if you don’t need to say anything or more.
Parasitism, putting up with the users
What kind of relationship makes a parasite out of us? It might be the relationship when you make someone believe you care but that is only because you derive benefits from the relationship. Casual favors are tolerable, but making another person sacrifice his or her own happiness just so you can enjoy your capriciousness is a painful thing for the host, and a shame for the parasite. The sad reality is, we tolerate parasites. Our home crumbles, our skin itches, our society is infested, because we do not do anything about the parasites. We are too kind to parasites and look past their schemes. Hosts should never be applauded for their martyrdom, knowing they are being used, complain but give in to the users. Is this even something we can call relationship if we love parasites so much we can’t let them go? Hosts, unlike preys, actually have a choice not be aggravated but they choose to be undermined. Their idea of a relationship is controlled by their over eagerness to be selfless even if this would mean stripping them of their dignity and freedom. Could we blame them?
Predation, antagonism at its finest
It seems that when we care for someone, when we are in a relationship that secures us with the satisfaction of belonging, predators are not a thing to be scared of. How many of us have been victims of this kind of interaction-hunted, eyed on, grasped and struggles to be consumed? We know that sometimes making a commitment entails risk and dangers, especially when our oblivious heart yearns nothing but to be cuddled and cared for, but we continue to make ourselves open to be preyed on. Then, when others hurt us, we can’t do anything else but bleed. Do we curse the predators for being mean? Well if we force ourselves to be in a relationship that has taken parasitism for granted and evolved into an interaction that has made the parasite a heartless predator hurting the host that has turned into a weak prey, then maybe we should rethink how we see relationships. Pain is inevitable, but allowing yourself to be devoured is a different story. Nobody has the right to hurt you if you don’t give them the power to. But sometimes we choose to be hurt. Endless why’s flood our senses, but we refuse to give them answers.
So what kind of relationship do we have? Are we enjoying cloud 9 with mutualism? Are we enduring the sense of sacrifice that comes with parasitism? Are we resistant to pain caused by predation? Or maybe it is mutualism reduced to parasitism and evolving to predation?
Everything I need to learn about relationships I learned in Science for the 7th grade.