A passing thought that came through during my times of deep questioning and examination of my own life and goals led me into a place where I thought about what it was that pushed me towards my current career path, my passion for writing and my great pleasure in communicating with others.
It also had me connecting common elements among many of the things that humans as a whole share, and while it is quite set in stone that man is a rational animal and is the essential that separates him from other living organisms, what is it that made humans tick?
This was the question that I sat on for some time. It’s not in the physiological realm, especially now with the advent of prosperity thanks to Capitalism and free trade. Most people living in developed countries live very much within a sphere where their need for food, shelter and water have all but been eliminated – we can live easily and with very little monetary wealth – minimalism is possible just as it is entirely possible to live within enormous, luxurious means, too.
It wasn’t quite in the social or the sexual realm, either. The social realm is essential for the survival of a human and is a need, just as sex and reproduction is, too. One can argue that kids aren’t the point and purpose of life and I agree with that, but it’s a massive driving force that pushes many people into new parts of their life where they can build a legacy of their own in the form of a family tree.
These things are all driving factors behind the nature of us as human beings, as animals. We are separate, fully fledged individuals with values differing from one another but common elements we share include the physiological and the social. They’re still not the essential behind what makes us all tick however.
I considered the notion that work is the end goal of man, too, and while I think it is necessary to work in order to live, it is not necessarily the reason you live. It is vital to do so but not the essential – productivity comes in many forms, degrees and intensities, and it once more captures antecedent needs in man’s life – that being the physiological, the social, etc. Of course it satisfies and brings enjoyment, but it isn’t the essential behind why you’re alive.
Of course, an addendum: these things all go down to individual cases – everyone is different and while the inductive premises I’ve recognized are important, deducing down to individuals and their choices leads to very different outcomes and stories.
And that is where my mind hooked onto like tendrils from the realm of the mad – stories. Everyone has an interesting story or experience, and everyone shares it via the means of language.
I’m a language teacher by trade. I’ve often wondered what it is that I enjoy about my job, and it’s not exactly the teaching of a language that satisfies me, but the satisfaction in giving people the power to tell their stories to me in a way that I understand.
Stories, language. These things are essential to have a fulfilling life, and not just through hearing of them, but through creating your own story and sharing it, too. The social aspect becomes a necessity here, because why would you write a story if not for the sharing it to other people? Of course you tell stories for you, but it always involves another person, too.
We share things via language, via stories. Those stories translate into understanding via examples, and the understanding translates to greater knowledge when carving your own path and telling your own story. Those stories are shared among others, and the cycle repeats.
There’s a deep satisfaction in writing this, because I know that I’m expressing some kind of thought that may translate to a valuable outcome for someone else. Some more understanding so that one can arm themselves with the ability to carve out their own life in some way.
We survive easy in many parts of the world – you can thank the market for that. But to have a fulfilling life is a different story – one that you have to carve out for yourself and share with others.
Master your ability to communicate to others. Learn languages, learn to understand, and use that new knowledge to create stories of your own so it may be shared with others and enrich maybe one, two or many souls that also dwell on this planet – whether in the now, or in the distant future where your soul is forever immortalized in an old story told to others under a starry, night sky.
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