..this could be one of those obvious no-brainers – but then again it might just be one of the deepest questions we can ask ourselves (if existential’s your thing)..
but just for today – why are you literally here: why do you live in the city that you do, the continent , the climate, the neighbourhood that you do? What makes a place feel like home.
I was chatting to a guy from Burundi who sought to assure me that “white people like the cold“, or at least extremes of temperature (WTF?! was my initial reaction followed in due course by much uproarious laughter.. then curiousity).
It got me thinking about how we humans move about on our great big home.ball. Why do we cluster where we do? If every modern human, [no matter how different we look 50 000 years on] started walking from the deserts of Southern Africa, why hell didn’t we all stop when we made it to the tropics, kick it back on the beaches, pick low-hanging fruit & make music? Surely that would be sensible?
If there’s one thing that I have learnt from studying the learning patterns & cognitive evolution of our species it’s this:
Humans aren’t machines. (oh yeah max, how profound!) smirk if you will, but governments around the world, incredibly smart people with MBA’s, multinational companies and grade 8 teachers are true believers. No matter how efficient the system, it’s never a guarantee that humans will work efficiently or be perfectly trained. We just aren’t an engineering problem. We are fundamentally counter.intuitive in our behaviour, and though we may honestly believe that we would be happiest lolling in an endless summer, that we truly want peace, that we really really want to live in luxury and ease.. our history says otherwise.
The weird thing about humans is that we ACTIVELY choose challenge. We yearn to grow beyond ourselves, to make a dent in history. It may be part of a greater plan (Orgel’s 2nd Law – “evolution is smarter than you are”). Yet for some peculiar reason, you have chosen to live where you do (even if you feel like you’re irrevocably bound – mortgage, marriage or money – remember there were decision points along the way).
If, today, you find yourself living in a place that irritates you, scares you but occassionally inspires you & makes your heart leap – you’re home. This place has a challenge level appropriate to your spirit.
If you’re one of those people who works best under pressure, and you love the rush when you’ve accomplished something that you thought was impossible; this is doubly true for you. We have the ability to be digital nomads, free to roam our world & ply our trade. Why are you here? What did you come to do here? Is it just to ingest info, to be productive, manage efficiently, reproduce, consume goods to keep the wheels of the economy going. Work.Buy.Display.Repeat ?
When we try to apply the rationality of engineering processes to our lives, somehow the wheels come off. [Admittedly there are some for whom it works - but generally they're not the kind of people you enjoy hanging around with at a braai]. You’re here for a reason, and it’s probably not a rational one, or you too would probably be Shaiking in your boots and packing for Perth.
It’s the one in your heart. Remember why you stay here.
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