If we compare humans to robots, we see that humans are motivated; robots just do as they’re told by us humans. Our motives can seem complicated, but our motivation for doing most things is quite primitive. We eat to avoid hunger, but in order to eat we would have had to hunt and forage at one time; now we go to the shops. We have a basic need to keep warm, it’s part of our survival instinct and so we shop for clothes. We have an instinct that seems to make us explore and ask questions because this ability makes it much easier for us to survive.
We also have an instinct to reproduce and survive as a species. This instinct to survive as a species also makes us social and we tend to act collectively. Our instinct to be social also helps us to form relationships and reproduce. We are competitive though, especially for material things; we will even compete for food. We are nest builders and so making a home is important to us. We make a home to reproduce in and as a safe place for our offspring. These instincts are our motivators and make us who we are. As a species we haven’t changed very much over the past 50,000 years, but we have built up a vast array of knowledge that helps us to survive. We no longer have to hunt for food in a primitive way, but we are still hunter-gatherers. We need to do things, to explore and be creative. Imagine for a moment, how it would feel to be paralysed and not be able to be as active as you are now. That is something none of us want, we have a instinct to do things; work is actually instinctive. We want to feel secure in our nest, in the home we have made for ourselves and that is another instinctive motivation in life.
Our instincts are often exploited by others. Our need to work and provide for our family, might be exploited by someone who has all they need. There are people who lead and there are people who follow. There are tribal leaders, just like in the old days; but they aren’t always the best hunters. They don’t always provide for their village, but simply take what they want from the people of the village. Not everyone has empathy with other people. Should survival of the fittest be the norm, just because it seems instinctive? Some people instinctively help others when they see them in trouble. They will even risk their own lives, sometimes to rescue an animal.
We can ask the question. Are we developing new instincts to help us survive in the 21st century? If we are, what are they? People seem to be more concerned with appearance. Could this be, because we feel our survival as a species is threatened? It could be. There is a lot of doom and gloom. We seem to be living for the moment more rather than storing food and things we will need for the future. In this modern world we might need money in the future to buy food and clothing and keep our homes as shelter. It seems that people are saving a little more after years of frivolous spending. Are we at least beginning to recognise that our survival is in jeopardy?
We are a curious species, we ask questions. We always want to know what is at the other side of the forest and we now have the technology to explore the other side of the world. Is this our survival instinct at work, do we have to constantly explore in order to survive as a species? What is the motivation behind our desire to continuously aspire to something better and never be content with what we have? Is it our survival instinct? Is it time to question, our very instinct to survive and ask whether our survival could depend not on growth and expansion, but on sustainability?
I hope today’s idea has made you think, there are more on the home page. What do you think? Please comment.