Blennie’s greatest power is observation.
Before venturing out for food, this tiny fish moves his eyes in all directions, his body remaining completely still, watching cautiously and quietly for potential predators.
What can Blennie teach us about how to interact with others and our environment?
How to watch, listen and learn.
Observation before action is essential to harmonious and attentive interaction. The ability to quietly listen and observe is one of life’s most valuable skills. One day it may even save your life, as in Blennie’s case.
Quiet, calm observation is a particularly important skill while diving and snorkeling. I often see people new to diving frantically chase animals in an attempt to get a closer look. This in turn terrifies the animal, making it swim away even faster and now the opportunity for interaction is completely lost. The animal wants nothing to do with this strange, frenzied predator wielding a flashing weapon.
During the chase, the diver’s heart rate is elevated, breathing becomes laboured and adrenalin surges. Their tank is now depleted and they have possibly become separated from their dive group. This shortens the dive for them and their buddies. Not to mention the safety implications of such an impulsive action.
What’s the alternative?
Take a lesson from Blennie. Move only your eyes, calm your breathing and remain completely still. When animals (including homo sapiens) sense this presence, they feel curious instead of threatened.
That turtle or manta ray may even come to rest by your side to observe your interesting behaviour. What a magical experience to make peaceful eye contact with nature’s most majestic creatures.
Need proof this works? Check out my vision page to see me having a quiet conversation with a turtle.
By observing before acting, we’re able to contemplate the consequences of our actions and to realize that sometimes the best course of action is no action at all.
Let’s be like Blennie and use our powers of observation to learn about others, ourselves and our environment so we can interact in a peaceful and harmonious way.