We Are Animals

Just last weekend I was riding shotgun in my friend Devin’s Suburban, discussing the life-altering events that were perspiring in our lives and the lives of people close to us. Devin and I have the same mindset that we are waiting until we are full blown adults before we commit to anything more serious than a lunch order. As we conversed about the trials and errors of our lives, it dawned on me that he is a completely separate entity from everything else I have ever known. Despite the obvious fact that we are two individuals, the fact that we were somehow able to become friends through the whirlwind of the universe baffles me. This idea lead me to considering how amazing every individual is. Each one living their life, having to handle their situations as they will grow up in their own unique settings. Each human is guaranteed to have varied amounts of family members, pre-existing conditions, interpersonal relationships and probably mealtime rituals that are different from anyone else. Even as two people sit down to the same movie, they will notice different qualities of the film, enjoy various scenes and details differently and will experience the event in totally unique ways. This thought pushed my mental awareness to consider how I see myself and the other humans around me. This thought continued to morph, and I began to ponder the ways that human nature has changed. I considered how our society affects the qualities we look for in other people, and strive for in ourselves, based on the circumstances that engage us.

 

Simply put, we (as homo sapiens) are animals, classified under the kingdom Animalia, who have been living amongst the other varied species of animals and plants that inhabit this large orbiting rock we call home. Without completely skimming over the idea that no one is 100% sure that anything is real and nothing can be proven as a fact, it can be generally agreed upon that you are probably alive in one form or another for now. Despite the possible weight of stress that may burden us in whatever way our situation deems, we have come a very long way as a collection of individuals in a species. Consider all of the choices and coincidences that occurred for you to be able to live right now; your ancestors had to survive wars, mate with other humans, and avoid contracting any diseases or illnesses that would prevent their offspring from reproducing. Advancements as a collective have to lead to the breakthroughs that allow us to share articles across the world and the luxury of indoor plumbing. As such intelligent creatures, we have decided that simply surviving was no longer fulfilling enough once we could stay up after dark and figured out food processing. As a species, we have altered the processes of our lives by creating a more standardized means of communication, which have to lead to a deeper development of feelings. I say this knowing full and well that those are two of my favorite things, but they have complicated the otherwise standard practices we need to survive.

Being self-aware, we are able to better manipulate the world around us, especially with how advanced our technologies have come; even within the last 10 years. Although it may not always seem like it, we are making an incredible amount of progress as a species by dominating in all of the necessary functions of living. Our success may come at the cost of the Earth’s health, but those wheels were set in motion long ago and it’s best to not worry about your grandchildren’s grandchildren’ well-being. History can show that there has always been a conflict that slows down our progress, but after we fight it out there are lessons learned. Even on a smaller scale, interpersonal relationships have a great effect on who we are after we have concluded a squabble. Every day-to-day interaction leaves the slightest impact that may be forgotten in a matter of minutes but could leave a lasting impression on your personal history.

 

Despite our best efforts to hold ourselves to a higher standard than animals, we face the same struggles But now, we are able to suffer more comfortably with more entertainment options. With the introduction of the ‘American dream’, humans were expected to want to settle down with a spouse of their choosing with the intent of earning a fair wage in order to afford the cost of children and living expenses. While dreaming can be fun, the vast amount of people may have other desires but are conforming to a mold that a normative society has built for them. As sophisticated as we are, humans still struggle to attract mates and find purpose in their life.

 

 

 

 

Picture Credit: Brittany Hammis