“Sharks need friends or they get sick.”

These words came from across a table scattered with plastic toys in the shape of sea creatures.   This precocious youngster has dazzled me with facts about snakes previously. And because he is a Star Wars fan, I can’t help but pay attention! He brought up this idea because he was doing all he could to convince his father that he needed two baby sharks instead of just one in the aquarium.

Sharks at play

I asked follow up questions but the boy was already on to other facts, reading a book on the topic, and playing shark trainer was high on his agenda.  I sat there thinking about how all I could remember was that a shark can be a host to parasite style fish.

So after a bit of research (read: looking around on the net) I learned that indeed if you are going to have sharks in an aquarium that having two is better than one. This is because while other fish can be companions out in the wild waters, it doesn’t work the same way inside a tank. The sharks get grumpy and want to eat the other fish but when there is another shark they work together. Normally sharks are rather solitary but in this fashion they are friends helping one another out.

You probably see where this is going, but this all tumbled around in my brain and I just saw so many ways this applies to relationships. We often  have an approach of being all on our own.  We show our teeth when we need to and sometimes end up on Shark Week  but overall we just move along to live.

However, when things shift into smaller waters we are much more open to being friendly. We do need one another to help us out because we can’t do it all on our own.

What is the point of all this? Well, I’ll make it easy for you: if sharks can figure out how to be kind to one another and that it helps keep them healthy, couldn’t we move a bit further up on the food chain of friendliness?  I’m not suggesting we use people or be nice just to get ahead, but I am suggesting that in the tank the shark does more than just get along.  The two sharks begin to work together and discover that they do more than just provide a cleaning service. They become companions!

It is a great thing  when we move from accepting help, only in the toughest of times, to opening up ourselves to allowing others to nurture us. It is is probably time to let some other people into your life and care for you, it will help you become healthier!


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