Living the Sweet Life: The Scents of Our Life

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and
award-winning columnist.

Recently I was watching a show on Animal Planet about animals that normally do not get along.  There was the sleepy lionesses after a kill, lounging in the sunshine, covered in pesky flies, with their trusty friend, the lizard, gobbling the flies up. There was the great white shark with scores of other fish using his rubbery skin to exfoliate themselves from barnacles. Interesting these animals relied on the services of the other, yet the smaller ones were easily prey if the opportunity arose. It made me think:  aren’t we all just a little like these animals?

How many times have you witnessed such kindness in nature? You expect the shark to gobble up the fish, and the lion to lash out at the lizard, when in fact, as sure as they know who and what they are, they also are capable of capitalizing on opportunity. They are not as “animal” as we make them out to be. Humans are actually not so different.  In an office where there are high producers, there will always be people perfectly happy to lap up their scraps. They are interested in survival and not in accomplishment. That is an interesting take on looking at life.

Let’s flip it then and look at yet another behavior, this time where there is hunting and mating involved, and the males in almost every species will often fight until their death against their same species. Blood is desired, and winning is everything. It’s not a peaceful sight given any creature, especially a human.

Have you ever been treated like that? Has someone ever challenged and engaged you by pivoting themselves in such a way as to provoke you to make a stand? Recently I was minding my own business and doing “me” in my lane. I like to stay there since because honestly, there’s quite a lot for me to do. There’s really no time in my life for anything non-productive, and I quite like it that way, although apparently it breeds discontent amongst a few. So there I am, minding my own business and living my own life, when I get this swing from the left that I recognized immediately as bullying and maybe a little taunting. The words questioned my professional accomplishments and were perceived as jealous discontent. After playing nice and being the recipient of a continued and very unbecoming banter, I restated the facts, wished the individual well and blocked them from my social media.

For years I have written about bullying and uplifting others and the importance to make a positive impact on all that you touch. Unfortunately, not everybody is happy for us when we achieve. They are not like the lizard or the smaller fish wanting to get along and see if somewhere in this thing called life we can all help each other. They want to, and most often it is between the same species, start a fight. There was a day a few years back that had this encounter happened, I would have reacted completely differently. I would have made sure in no uncertain terms that I won the argument. I would have done what any shark or lion does when provoked.  This challenge today, however, was met with quite a different response – that of extreme disappointment. I am glad that I have grown enough into my own to not be like the fellow lioness and reciprocate with more of the same. That is the difference between animals and us, and in fact, the key to getting along.

Take Care of YOU!


Have you been bullied as an adult? Did you walk away or did you stay? I’m curious.  Email me at