Removing Porcupine Quills

July 3, 2015

Personal Growth

I am told by an expert that removing porcupine quills from a dog takes two people. One person pulls the quills, while the other covers the dog's eyes so that it will not associate the pain with the people. This is important because if the dog associates people with pain, it can feel betrayed, which adds to the pain and causes a loss of trust.

Notice that this technique does not involve reducing the dog’s pain. It’s about enduring the pain without being distracted by feeling victimized by the person pulling the quills.

This is not unlike the practice of wise men helping people to tell the truth about themselves. This process can be painful, like removing porcupine quills. If the wise man is fearful or angry, the other person will likely associate the truth telling with the selfishness and attacking of the wise man’s fear or anger, and thus the wise man creates an additional source of pain.

In the process of growth, pain is inevitable, but if we help people grow without our own fear, we can avoid making the pain much worse.

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