The Sensitivity Chip
Katie Couric spoke with Leslie Bennetts, the reporter who interviewed Jennifer Anniston for Vanity Fair after her very public breakup with Brad Pitt.
After crafting a gracious explanation for the split, Anniston watched as Pitt and Jolie frolicked on the beaches of Africa making news and magazine headlines, Anniston said, “clearly there is a sensitivity chip missing.”
This is the dogs’ blog.
So, I’ll start with their sensitivity chips. I think they come with more than one. They understand when we are unhappy, insecure, frightened or sick.
Just this week, my mom was diagnosed with colitis. At eighty, that’s tough. Feeling nauseous and unable to eat left her in a weakened state. That’s when the depression found a place to settle.
While Gus doesn’t like to drive in the car, she asked for him. He was patient as we drove down the canyon. When we arrived at her house, he jumped up on her sofa and cuddled with her. (Okay, there were some hot dogs involved.) But, still, for a dog that has gone through as much as Gus, it was amazing.
I think a dog’s sensitivity chip helps them make decisions about which dogs will be friendly and play with them, and which won’t.
As people, we need at least one sensitivity chip. I have been surprised and hurt by the comments I have heard over the last few weeks.
Until recently, I believed, like Anne Frank wrote, “I still believe that people are really good at heart.” I just think sometimes people, unlike dogs, can be insensitive to our insecurities, feelings, and needs.
When I told my therapist what I’d heard, she said, “How insensitive!” That was what got me thinking about sensitivity.
When women lose weight, other often cheer for them. I unintentionally lost weight and heard, “There’s such a thing as too thin.” I literally couldn’t eat. But, when I went into the faculty lounge, I heard, “You look skeletal.”
The man that lined me up with Chris said, “We love you, but we love him more.”
Today, realizing that if I didn’t ask for a baking dish I left at his house, I’d never get it; I sent a photo of the two matching ones from the set and asked if he still had it, the response was, “Yes! We have been trying to give that away for months.”
Yes, this is the dogs’ blog, but sometimes, when things happen that hurt their human companions, they reboot those sensitivity chips and get busy.
In my leadership class, I teach BHD (Basic Human Decency). My boys know to open doors for the girls and offer them their seats. My whole class understands the power of “thank you,” eye contact, smiling and saying “hello.”
I think if we all acted with a bit more BHD and thought about the words we were saying, the dogs’ sensitivity chips would not have to work nearly so hard.
Anniston said Pitt didn’t have “the sensitivity chip.” Maybe people only get one.
Regardless, I know I am going to think before I speak or text.