Updated: Jan 3, 2020
People are largely driven by their emotions.
Not only are they driven by their emotions, but also much of their decision-making tends to be limited to ‘how they feel’ at any given time.
“Do what makes you happy” - seems to be the calling card of at least this generation, if not also the two generations that preceded it.
Letting; ‘how you feel’; determine how your life is lived is a dangerous path, as your feelings are not always an accurate reflection of reality.
They are very much subjective and in addition we aren’t entirely sure where our feelings even come from most of the time.
We can’t always control our thoughts and emotions; but we do have much more influence over what we actually do about them; and how we choose to act in the world.
Animals on the other hand tend to make decisions based solely on how they feel, if they can be considered decisions at all.
Primary biological drivers, powerful ones, often determine how a primate may act in any given situation.
It’s essentially fight or flight, the need for procreation, the need for food, water and very survival which sit at the core of all decision making.
But Human’s are a little different.
Humans have this unique ability for transcendence.
By transcendence, I mean rising above any given situation.
Reaching for the greater good, striving for some underlying moral imperatives that sometimes are not linked to survival at all, but rather even go against it.
As humans, we very often even contradict how we might feel by how we act.
Think about anger, lust, jealousy, and greed – what do you do with those?
There’s no point denying that we are all essentially animals, with all the biological drivers you would expect to see in any other animal – but that’s not all we are, we have that little bit of an intangible extra.
And it’s that little bit extra that makes all the difference
Your ability to see any situation for what it is and transcend it – is ultimately a large part of what makes you human.
So maybe the purpose of life is simply that.
To transcend the reality of the conditions you find yourself in and live up to the fullness of your humanity - accepting it for what it truly is.