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The law treats dog theft the same as phone theft…

Yes, it’s incredible that in 2021, (wo)man’s best friend is still seen no different to a mobile phone by the law, here in the United Kingdom. Under the Theft Act of 1968, there is no specific offence for someone taking your pooch, incredibly.

I say incredibly because losing one’s dog is almost certainly a traumatic event, like losing a family member to most dog owners.  Understanding the connection and relationships people have with their dogs takes empathy and a set of developed relationship skills to deeply understand as does understanding the emotional effects of losing a dog and its potential impact on our mental health, for instance.

Why does the law fail?

If lawmakers and enforcers don’t have the emotional skills necessary, they cannot effectively facilitate emotional decisions and actions.  The fact that having emotional skills is not a prerequisite for most careers is one of the most serious issues facing society.  Though it’s one people rarely discuss.

If you wanted to inform, persuade and change the law in this case, you’d need wider awareness of emotions, what societies require to be supported (social responsibility), excellent emotional expression to communicate effectively and put your case across and reasonable assertiveness to stand firm against opposition and argue the case. This is just the tip of the EQ iceberg, understanding how a variety of emotionally based skills are needed to bring about positive change; to bring about good.

How the law and society treat us and our loved ones, whether human or not, is defined by our emotional intelligence in so many ways.  The latest spate of dog thefts is just one example of how the low level of emotional intelligence, not simply empathy (one of its components) gets in the way of protecting what is dear to us. This is why we need emotional intelligence (EQ) in a high performing society.

Without EQ there is inefficiency, there’s a lack of alignment to the human condition, which causes hardship and laws and behaviours that don’t work for us.

Whether you care for dogs or not, there will be issues, moments in your week, that spring to mind, where current low levels of EQ are getting in the way of your fulfilment and living in a safe, supportive society.  EQ is often called soft skills. I don’t like this phrase. They’re not simply nice to have skills. EQ skills are the heart around which an emotionally healthy person navigates their life and work and also helps societies to thrive.


Image: Alamy