Humans are an odd bunch, there’s no other animal on the planet quite like us (that we know of). We’ve inhabited parts of this world continuously for tens of thousands of years.
The subsequent cultures have achieved an identity that’s based on the solid foundation of their ancestor’s number one driving force, survival. In this modern age that we all live, the forces that drive us are far removed from the days of our forefathers.
Other cultures are so young (a few hundred years) that their identity is still in a stage of infancy. The majority of their population walks around in a fog of confusion with no moral compass to guide them and few role models worth mentioning.
They are firmly set in the modern age and know little that isn’t broadcast on the TV or the Internet ,having disregarded the wisdom of the last generation and sending it to a hospice.
The commonly held belief that money, fame and love are the main driving forces in the world today is a narrow view of the human condition with little emphasis on anything but the material side of life and the “I want it done yesterday” attitude. Less and less people stop to smell the roses, let alone contemplate their own existence.
The illusion of money is an empty cup.
Some people lead simple lives with few material possessions and a humble lifestyle. They smile each day as the sun rises, happy to be alive.
Others hold the world in the palm of their hands and it’s not enough. They’re taught from birth to do better, earn more, get a bigger house, get a better job, buy a nicer car.
It’s a part of the culture.
Fortunes are had and lost, traded and stolen every day of the week, all around the globe.
Money is a means, not an end. It’s a tool that’s used the same as a hammer or pipe wrench.
It has a purpose and shouldn’t be worshiped like the golden calf.One thing I’ve learned about money, you can always make more.
We all come into this world the same way, head first and naked.
When we leave, the only thing we can take with us is what we’ve learned on our journey through this life. (along with any tattoos you might have and the steel pins in your leg)
Fame is a fickle bedfellow.
As long as you are looked upon in good favor by the masses and donate regularly to the proper charities you’re always warm. Say the wrong thing in public, be seen in the wrong crowd or get in a bar fight after a week of filming and you’ll shiver under a threadbare sheet, alone and cold, cast off by the very people that made you famous.
How and when it was paired with fortune I don’t know, but many immigrants passing through Ellis Island came from far and wide to find it.
Love is rooted in the brain stem (or Reptilian brain) of man
Love is a primal force that evolution has hardwired into the human race just to keep the species from going extinct. (for better or worse, depending on who you ask) It is an elusive quarry for many who spend a lifetime searching for it and only find the signs of where it once was.
When one finds it, they protect it and keep it safe as if it were their own life blood because it is so precious. They fear it weakening and slipping away because it is so hard to find.
Just the thought of leaving causes fear and panic that comes from the memory of when they were alone.
A force that drives us higher
One driving force that’s unrelated to money, fame or love is the thirst for knowledge, the need to understand above all else. The force that leads us, unafraid, to question the universe.
“Why are we here?” “Where did we come from?”
“Where are we going?” This thirst drives many humans more than the other three combined.
It can be more powerful than money, deeper rooted than love and more alluring than fame.
To understand the why, what’s the end game for the human race? We’re still here (times seven billion) so there has to be a reason. Each time in they thought they had it, someone would come up with a new question and blow their theory out of the water.
Throughout known history men and woman alike have been asking these questions, inching their way closer to an answer.
The riddle has never been solved (that we know of) but the questions remain. There is a reason, a source for the human condition, an answer to it all and it’s out there, waiting to be discovered, but so few people accept the challenge.
So few of the billions of people can look past money, fame and love to see a force greater than themselves, a force that transcends time and space.
Get your head out of the sand
One of the greatest things about the human condition is our ability to change and our capacity to learn from our mistakes. Any force that currently drives you can be updated, upgraded or improved.
You can adopt a new focus and dive into the mysteries of life at any age, if you so choose. When you begin to ponder, “Why are we here”, a strange thing happens.
Your mind expands past the things your eyes can see and the force starts tugging at you, giving you tiny hints that keep you on the path. You find that it drives you differently than the other three forces, it becomes a well of insight that never runs dry.
Once you taste the water from this well you’ll keep coming back for more.
An easy way to start would be to find people that are currently engaged in seeking out the answers to these questions.
You can also search for books on the great thinkers in history, who knows, you might figure out something that they missed. A new set of eyes on any problem significantly increases the chances of finding an answer.
Here’s some food for thought. Imagine yourself diving into these questions, “Why are we here?” “What’s the meaning of life?” “Where are we going as a species?”
You adopt the desire for knowledge as your driving force in life and it propels you to the answersyou seek after only a few years of searching. What would you do then?
How would you use the knowledge? Who would you tell?
The paradox is that the more questions that are answered, the more that arise.
Does the answer come with instructions on how it is to be used? The truth is that it’s the search that drives us, not the answers.
It’s the quest for knowledge, not the knowledge itself. That’s the unquenchable part, no matter how many answers we find, there’s always another question.