A Paradox of Being Human

We are the most self-aware species on the planet. We live out our lives in our minds; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and memories driving much of what we do, with an internal monolog of what we tell ourselves, how we believe the world is working, what we like, what we want, etc.

DeckPathAnd yet our physiology is geared for us to work in groups. Dependent on them, and also vital to them in various ways. Our lives are tethered together in a complex web of support and cooperative relationships.

Without the characteristics required to evolve our social sensibilities, which resulted in our banding together in groups or tribes, our species likely would not have survived. It certainly wouldn’t have flourished as it did. We are the only species to go significantly beyond adapting ourselves to the world. We have in many ways adapted the world to us.

We walk our paths together on the surface, but at the end of the day we are each alone. Our own little cell of awareness, yet part of a whole we cannot live without. The existential element of satisfaction or feeling good is our blessing and curse. We do not control it, at least not directly, yet it controls us. As our moods change, our opportunities and even capabilities change. We need the help of others for validation. And we need the satisfaction ourselves that we get through helping others.

But at night we are still alone with our thoughts. And we don’t control much of it.


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