There are four propensities of life… eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. But is that all there is to life? And if so, how are we, as human beings, any different from animals?
Humans have mastered these four propensities. We have an endless menu of gourmet cuisine and all manners in which to cook it so that our food not only gives us sustenance, but a sensation of incredible tastes. When it comes to sleeping, we have perfected the art of getting a good night’s rest, with ergonomic beds, neck-support pillows, and cosy blankets. And it is frightening just how well we have enhanced the act of mating, and how much we have sharpened our ability to defend ourselves.
The question human beings should be asking, is whether this really is the goal of life? Just to eat, sleep, mate and defend. If this is the goal of a life of a human being, then you can argue that it would be better to be an animal. For example, if the goal of life was to sleep, wouldn’t you rather be a crocodile? I heard that a crocodile could sleep for 20 hours a day! If sex was to be the goal, then why not prefer to be a pigeon? A pigeon could have sex 100 times a day, without caring for the offspring or being in a relationship. If eating was the main focus of life, then who wouldn’t want to be a pig, who can eat anything and everything all day long? My point is, humans are equipped with so much more potential to fulfil more than any of these propensities. That is how we are different from animals. If we focus our lives around this sense gratification, surely we’re missing the point of life. We must awaken ourselves from our slumber. There must be a higher purpose.
Human life begins when one starts questioning, “What am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is my relationship with this world I live in? What is my responsibility to the environment? Who am I?…” The questioning and the learning are endless.
We have the ability to act independently; we have free will. We have a higher intelligence. We have the ability to question. We can philosophise. We can actually ponder what happens after death. A life of a human being is a life of responsibility and consequences; a life of questioning and seeking answers.
Yes, we have perfected the four propensities, the basic needs of life, but it is not what makes us human. We’re missing the purpose and potential of human life if we care only for eating, sleeping, mating and eating.
Please take a moment to ponder… don’t wither away a life of great potential, questioning and learning. Strive to understand the world around you. Don’t allow yourself to be satisfied with a life similar to that of an animal, because you simply won’t be doing justice to the incredible gift we’ve all been given… life as a human being on this planet.
Joseph T. Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd