Posted by: ritagone | May 28, 2014

The Squirrel in All of Us


“My thesis of humanity is that we are not squirrels. If you watch squirrels in the fall, they all do the same thing – they hide the acorns and stuff, they never help each other out, and they don’t do anything non-squirrel-like. They’re just squirrels – that’s their job. We’re beyond that, I would hope. And if we’re spending a lot of time in squirrel-like behavior, we’re selling ourselves short.” – Seth Godin.

I love that quote. “We are not squirrels.” So supposedly we shouldn’t behave like squirrels. And if we’re indulging in the kinds of activities and behavior that squirrels indulge in, we’re selling ourselves short, according to Mr. Godin. We’re not living up to our God-given potential.

Stated so simply, yet so profoundly, Seth Godin has managed to tell us what’s basically wrong with the human race: we don’t do what we were created to do. We were meant to look out for one another, to protect, to have one another’s backs, and when we don’t do that, we’re like squirrels, never helping each other out, hiding what we feel is our own private property, behaving as selfish, self-centered squirrels behave.

The apostle Paul said it another way: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” (Romans 7:15) Meaning: we behave like squirrels when we know deep down in our hearts that we’re not supposed to, when we don’t want to behave like squirrels. We sell ourselves short all the time, because we’re idiots. (My paraphrase.)

There’s no use saying you’re different; you’re not. As Godin says, all squirrels do the same thing; their behavior is rampant among the species. Very rarely do you see non-squirrel-like actions among the squirrel population. “We’re beyond that, I would hope,” he says. But we’re sadly too often not beyond that. They hide the acorns, they never help each other out, and they don’t do anything non-squirrel-like. And you and I are the same: we run around protecting ourselves and damaging other people in the process, we are reluctant to help others out if it means putting ourselves at risk, and we don’t do anything non-human-like, which is to say, unselfish and other directed.

No wonder we need rescuing.

No wonder we need a Savior.

No wonder we need someone to get us out of the mess we’ve created when left to our own devices.

This “squirrel” is awfully glad that Jesus came around and stopped the madness.



  1. As another squirrel who is thankful for the Savior, I must also say I love your paraphrase. 🙂

  2. Rita –

    I love this “squirrel” analogy. I might use it as a lesson for my grandchildren!

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