Penelope Trunk



Friday, October 2, 2009

On the Importance of Being Vulnerable

Or why we see the world differently



Penelope Trunk

When planning for this week’s show with Penelope Trunk, my theme was about being vulnerable. As usual, I started the show with a horse story. This week’s story was about putting myself in a situation with a horse where I was the vulnerable partner.

I chose this topic because Penelope is often brutally honest about her own perceived shortcomings in her blog. I wanted to find out why she could announce her insecurities to the world when the rest of us tend to hang onto them and don’t share them with even close friends.

But a funny thing happened during the show. We ran out of time just when we hit on the real topic we needed to talk about. We started talking about what it is like to perceive the world differently than other people. Penelope, her son, and other people in her family have Asperger’s syndrome, which is kind of like being a high-functioning autistic. (Penelope, if this is not an accurate assessment, please correct me in the call-in show.) In any case, Penelope sees and understands the world differently than most of us do, and she is constantly trying to see how she fits with the rest of us.

This resonates with me because so much of my philosophy of horsemanship contains knowledge that horses perceive the world differently than we do. We get along with them better when we try to see the world through their eyes. Learning to put yourself in another’s position is an important skill. I believe that most of our human conflicts are caused because we assume that the other person sees the world in the same way we do. If we can learn to see the world from another person’s point of view, as working with horses forces us to do, we will get along a whole lot better.

Listen to this recorded show right here, right now…

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