Knut The Bear Dies of Loneliness and Lack of Attention And Teaches Us Some Major Life Lessons

I am  beyond sad and very disturbed  that precious once world-famous “Knut the Bear” has just died in a Berlin Zoo. He died at the age of 4 1/2 and had at least 10 to 13 years ahead of him if not more. There was no predator to kill him. There was no fight he got into with another animal. He didn’t take drugs and OD.

 So, did someone at the zoo kill him because he was labeled as being “difficult,” psychotic” and a “narcissist” who was too difficult to handle? Or did he die of loneliness and a broken heart? I pray it is not the first. But  I have every reason to believe that it was the latter.

 His life and his death teach us so many huge lessons on many levels- from why childhood stars turn out the way they do and often self destruct to other valuable lessons.

It clearly shows us  how important it is to have the companion of others, and to be physically touched, cuddled  and  loved on a consistent  basis.  

It also shows us the very sad truth – a  reality that happens all too often in business and in personal relationships – that  there is a chance we can be  easily discarded when we are no longer of value or use to anyone. It’s sad, but horribly  true in all too many cases.

Knut was the most adorable little polar bear who was rejected by his mother when he was born in captivity at  the  Berlin zoo on December 4, 2006.

 

The zoo keepers kept this adorable ball of white fluffy fur  alive and nurtured him.

 Knut  even had his own keeper who slept in his pen with him and attended to his every need.  

     

Knut was very happy as he bonded with his human daddy, who fed him, hugged him, bathed him, kissed him, hugged him, and played with him. Knut was given a tremendous amount of love and affection. 

 

CUTE, PLAYFUL, CUDDLY  AND HAPPY BABY KNUT

When baby Knut was a little over 3 months old  he  was put  on display, for all to see. People came to see him from all over the world. He became a celebrity,  as the crowds of people who visited him purchased   Knute memorabilia tee shirts, mugs, key chains, candy, postcards posters, plastic replicas,  and stuffed likenesses of him.

He loved the flashes of the camera and even posed when photos of him were taken by the countless visitors.  

 

 

A year later he even made the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine  in an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot.

 

 AS HE MATURES, HE IS NO LONGER “CUTE KNUT”

But as Knute grew older,  he was no longer cute. Crowds  dwindled as they stopped coming to see him. Gone were the flashing cameras. Gone were the crowds of smiling delighted children squealing at his antics and tricks.

If there was not a wall between Knut and the visitors, Knute could have done some serious harm.

Also gone was his keeper, as the older Knute got be more difficult  and harder  to handle. His hug was a huge bear hug that could hurt, maim and kill, His teeth grew into big long bear teeth that could bite, pierce, and kill. Even though Knute still thought of himself as a playful baby cub, he was in reality, a dangerous polar bear.

 

 Knute had no other bear mates to play with. He was isolated now that this keeper was gone and that he was treated like any other ordinary wild zoo animal. He got depressed and  became  unmanageable. He acted out and would howl for hours until he saw  human people come  in front of his glass container. When they did he would immediately  calm down . He cried and cried until people took his photos and flashed their cameras in his big bear face. He loved it!

But then the visitors  stopped all together at various time, especially during the winter. Knute got more and more depressed and even got violent. The zookeeper even publicly called him a sociopath and  said he was a narcissist and impossible to manage.

 

In order to appease Knute’s anger, the zoo staff would have to walk by his enclosure and take flash photos of him. This went on  throughout the day, which cost the staff time and money as it took away from their other responsibilities.

KNUT DIES ALONE AND FOR NO APPARENT REASON

 

So 4 ½  years later The Berlin zoo’s bear keeper Heiner Kloes reported to The Associated Press that Knute the  bear died alone and  in his compound. His exact words were:

“He was by himself in his compound, he was in the water, and then he was dead,” said Kloes. “He was not sick, we don’t know why he died.”

Even though a  post mortem will be conducted on Monday to try and discover the exact cause of  Knute’s death I wonder if there was something else that killed him. Did Knute lose his will to live? Did he commit suicide by drowning himself?

 I strongly believe that Knute died because he had no interaction  with anyone- bear or human and he was no longer a star.

His anger consumed him as he was not given the attention that he was raised with. Since infancy, he was raised to believe that he would be loved and cuddled nurtured and given massive attention. He was raised to believe that he would have a lot of physical contact as he did as a baby,  when he  was loved  up cuddled and kissed and hugged as he played with his keeper, who lived with him.

But now there was no one to touch him and cuddle him and love him up. It saddened him and then it made him furious. Then it made him depressed and despondent until he lost his will to live and did himself in by either shutting down his own systems or perhaps even drowning himself.

KNUT’S EXPERIENCE HELPS US BETTER  UNDERSTAND WHAT CHILD ACTORS GO THROUGH

 So how does what happened to Knute apply to human beings? What can we learn from it?

For one thing we can really see why child actors go off the deep end. They are catered to and paid an enormous amount of attention like Knute was. Then when they grow up and are suddenly not the cute little cherub of a child. They aren’t cast in as many films or TV shows. They don’t get all the goodies that come along with being a star like recognition and constant pampering, and getting away with mouthing off or getting whatever they want because they are the cash earning cow.

 When the gigs stop coming, they get bummed out, much like Knute. And when the public recognition stops, they get angry, just like Knute.

Knut turned his anger outwards, by having tantrums and acting out, much like child stars have done.  He also turned it inwards by getting depressed and essentially giving up on life. If Knut had access to alcohol and drugs, no doubt he would take them as well to numb his pain.

He would do it to numb himself against the pain of feeling worthless, because he was no longer relevant in other people’s eyes.

 He didn’t have a bear parent to guide him and nurture him. He didn’t have a bunch of bear buddies  to hand out with, or a bear girlfriend to love him up. He didn’t even have a human who could come into his enclosure and give him the hugs and kisses he hungered for that he had as a baby.  

While they don’t wail and scream and show physical violence towards others as a means of getting attention, all too  often, child actors  who have grown up, often turn that anger outwards to get attention by  behaving badly and by taking drugs       

THE BERLIN ZOO CREATED A MONSTER AND THEN BLAMED INNOCENT KNUT FOR THEIR IGNORANCE

  

Instead of love and compassion and support,  Knut  had a zoo keeper that called him a sociopath and a narcissist and said Knute was dangerous and impossible to be around. Buy who created that sociopath and narcissist?  The Berlin Zoo created it and THEY needed to rectify the mess they created. They needed to get him some buddies.

They needed to make sure he was still front and center as the Zoo’s star. They needed to stop complaining about the extra work they had to do to appease Knute by taking his photos at regular intervals during the day.

They needed to get him a some bear buds or a girlfriend or two so he could have fun and socialize. In fact they needed to have socialized him with other baby bears his age at the very beginning of his life.. Even if they were brown bears or other species of animals Knute  could have bonded with them. But the zoo officials apparently seemed to be too busy making  immediate money to notice or to think about the little bear’s future mental and emotional health.   

AGE DISCRIMINATION – WHEN YOU ARE NO LONGER OF VALUE

 As cold and heartless as it is, too many have known the despair of being laid off because they were too old . There are other who know the pain of not even  being hired because they are too old.

With the exception of Meryl Streep,  and  perhaps Helen Mirren and Judy Dench,   just ask any woman actress over 50 in Hollywood and they will tell you. Especially ask those who were once the hottest at the box office like Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, and  Kathleen Turner. The roles stop coming and suddenly the tabloids  which fuel public interest ,don’t care what they say or do. There is a new batch of brand new young hot  beauties .

As long as these leading ladies were making millions of dollars for the studios, they were getting job after job. Now they are thrilled if they get a character role or two every once in a while.

It happens to men and women  a lot  in business. Gone are the days  when you are at a company for 40 years and get a  gold watch and a party when you retire. Instead men and women  are let go due to downsizing. After all why should they pay a seasoned executive a hefty salary,  when they can hire 3 young turks or turkettes  who are also super computer savvy for the same price?

It happens in relationships too. In the dating world the biggest complaint I hear for both men and women is  that he or she is “always looking for something better.”  If there is conflict in the relationship, instead of working things out,  all too many find it easier to break up  or divorce and go on to someone else. Where is the loyalty?

It’s the same lack of loyalty that happened to little Knute after he became big Knute and no longer earned the stream of revenue he once earned with all of his merchandising and hoards of visitors,  who paid top dollar to see him.  

Now that he was no longer cute and a money making machine, he was not that important. He obviously felt it and  it broke his heart and soul. Tragically he died.

KNUT  DIDN’T DIE IN VAIN- HIS DEATH TAUGHT EVERY HUMAN BEING SOMETHING MAJOR  ABOUT LIFE

 

Maybe he didn’t die in vain. Maybe his death has opened up our eyes to treating one another with more respect. Maybe it opened up our eyes to not take others for granted and to appreciate them and let them know how much we appreciate and love them. Maybe it opened up our eyes to giving people a special touch and a hug or a kiss to show that we adore them. And maybe it opened our eyes to make us realize how much we need one another and how we can’t be isolated. We need to be with others. We need to communicate, touch, and laugh,and hug, and cuddle. Every living creature needs other living creatures to flourish and to live.    

Good Bye  Dear Knute. RIP and God Bless Your  Bear Soul.

www.drlillianglass.com

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Jon Gosselin’s Body Language Showed Sincerity, Remorse and That He Is Finally Growing Up and Taking Responsibility

jon  on larry king

      On Larry King Live  Jon’s posture and demeanor showed a self confidence we have never seen before. His voice was powerful and  deliberate. He was sure of himself and what he wanted for  his kids. He sparred with Kate’s lawyer and in my view, put that attorney in his place. Jon  finally showed that he is a man and he has finally grown up. It takes a big man to say you are sorry and to show remorse and have accountability for your actions. Jon did just that on the show. He spoke up and addressed questions independently of his own attorney.  

      Nothing pleased me more than when I heard Jon Gosselin say on Larry King Live that he plans to take the kids off the air. Thank goodness ! Those innocent  kids of primary importance and to have them no longer  be part of the media circus is a great thing. Now the rest of their childhoods can perhaps  be spent living a more normal existence without the prying eyes of the public.

     A few months back on the episode where Jon and Kate announced their divorce, as soon as  I heard little Joel tell his father to be quiet,  I knew it was time to get those kids away from the cameras and out of the spotlight immediately. Even though Kate doesn’t want to do it because of her control issues and now overgrown ego, and money concerns,  Jon is acting more like the responsible adult than ever before.

   According to research the first 5 years are the most important years of a child’s life in terms of mental and emotional development. So if there is any emotional scarring with these children, it has already taken place. But the fact that they will no longer be in the public eye can help repair the famage in many ways.

   The equation of  children spending their entire childhoods  in  front of a camera for any length of time is not a good one. Just ask my dear friend and Child Actor Protector and head of A Minor Consideration, Paul Peterson. He knows first  hand what it was like to grow up in a fishbowl and suffered the consequences as a result.  He has counseled numerous child actors who went off the deep end and never came back.   Child actors need a lot of support and solid parents who spend lot of time with them and who are behind them 100 percent. That is why Ron Howard turned out so well and Melissa Gilbert and a handful of others.  But when child actors don’t have solid parent’s behind them like Lindsey Lohan didn’t, they turn out to be like Lindsey Lohan  confused, miserable,  and self destructive.

    Perhaps Jon’s association with Michael Lohan, Lindsey’s father  is a good thing as he learns what NOT to do from Michael’s mistakes. Taking his kids out of the limelight is a GREAT thing and I support it 100 percent.

   While you can’t  always compare children with animals, you can  compare a living creature who was constantly in the glare of the TV camera  and in the  limelight and given all kinds of attention to what has been happening with these 8 kids since birth. I am talking about Knute the cute little polar bear in the Berlin Zoo that people lined up by the thousands  to see.

     All that attention created a narcissism that made him impossible to handle when he got older. According to the zoologist, Knute  turned into a psychopath as he got older. He became so addicted to all the human attention that he howls and crys if he doesn’t have attention, He constantly acts out and is considered a problem bear. That is what happens with a lot of these child actors who were brought up in the limelight. When they grow up they aren’t as cute and don’t get as many jobs, so they aren’t in the limelight azs much. So they self destuct because they are used to that constant attention.

    The vedict is still out as to what will happen with Jons and Kate kids. TAs they continue to grow, they  have to be carefully watched  for  any behavioral problems which have resulted from theiir being under the  constant glare of the camera lens,  just like Knute was in his formative years.

     Only time will tell  what affect all of this filming has had on these kids psychologically. I think they need to be monitored regularly by a child psychologist and watched if any problems arise. The two children who need therapy the most in my opinion is twin  Maddy who was always angry and crying and unhappy due to her lack of attention and obvious tense relationship with Kate. The other one is Colin who hits all the other kids and is a little bully. Kate tends to like him the best and even rewards his bad behavior. Kate being a bully herself obviously identifies with him. But this boy needs to be carefully monitored. Twin Cara needs to be monitored as well. Even though she comes across as stable and responsible, she is still a child. A quiet child who keeps everything inside my really be watched closely. Adan, the one with the glasses whom I find the most adorable seems to have been affected by his parent’s breakup as he seems more detached at to himself as though he is in a word of his own. Even little Leah seems miserable and sad.

    The bottom line is that Jon said that he had to “grow up and be a man” and we certainly saw signs of that on Larry King. The first manly decision he made, was taking those kid off the air. I can’t imagine any court in the US insisting that the children stay on the air. If they say they want to be on the air  and that it is their decision, they are only children and can’t make that decision by themselves. It is Kate’s decision that they remain on the air and Jon’s decision that they don’t. I am clearly on Team Jon as far as the kids are concerned.