Monday, July 30, 2012


It's safe to say we've all felt alone at one point in life. I have. Do you know the feeling? It's a sort of insecurity in the pit of your stomach, you're not sure where you belong, and you feel as though the world is avoiding you. Maybe it only comes out occasionally, when you're in a new place or with people you don't know, or maybe it's a constant, nagging, perpetual pressure deep down inside you. Regardless of the intensity, this feeling can be nerve-racking, daunting, and unwelcome. What is it about being alone that we fear so much? What exactly does the term mean, to be "alone"? I believe deep down in the core of our being lies the innate desire for acceptance, a term that perhaps we have come to more accurately define as love. When we feel alone, we feel unloved. 
Ahaha! This picture is great. 
I wonder, is love an instinct? Do we have a choice but to love and desire love? I compare my desires to animals’ natural tendencies. For example, the mother bear. She would risk her life to protect her cubs. Does the mother love her cubs, or is it out of instinct she would sacrifice her life for them? Also, consider geese. Once a goose has found a partner, the two stay together for life. Is that love? Is that commitment? Do they have a choice or is it something they were born with, something hidden in their genetic code? There are also many animals who do not share such tendencies. Alligators and turtles lay their eggs and leave. Most animals have several mates over their lifetime.

As I consider this, I find there is a connection in which everything comes together: survival. 
Animals act the way they do in order to survive, to continue their life, their species.  

Humans are social creatures. We desire to be together, and it's not just because of the way we were raised, it's in our nature. I think love is instinctive, in fact it is necessary. I believe humans were given the ability to love in order to survive, and not just as an individual, as a race. 

Consider humanity with me. The concept of humanity holds a vast definition. Humankind is so different in every sense of the word. Think about the different cultures from continent to continent, nation to nation, family to family, person to person. And yet, we are unmistakably connected, undeniably united by our humanness. No matter where we come from, we come in groups, groups connected by a bond. Perhaps that bond is love, perhaps it is survival. I believe it's both. 

If animals use their inherent abilities for survival, isn't it safe to assume that humans do or should as well? Yet, as humans, existing is more elaborate, more confusing, and much more extreme. 

For example, we possess the ability to create complex thoughts. We have the ability to not only survive, but live on a completely different plane of metaphysical concepts. We question things outside ourselves. We advance, we invent things. We question our purpose for existing, where we came from, and how we came to be. 

If we have so much complexity, so much knowledge not necessary for our physical survival, then whey is it there? I think I'm beginning to understand. As a global studies major, I study different cultures. Last spring I took a cultural anthropology class. During the class I learned that there are certain "cultural universals" shared with all people groups everywhere on the planet. One of the cultural universals was the belief in a higher power, or a force greater than humans. Could our advanced ability to think be another tool, another inborn necessity for survival? Not physical, bodily survival, but survival of our soul? Why else would we maintain such knowledge? 

I believe people are eternal, not physically, but on a different level we barely understand. We were given our ability to consider higher powers and the concept of "eternal" in order to survive. 

And just as we have a desire to be loved by others, to not feel "alone" in every sense of the word, we innately desire something greater too. Perhaps the desire for love is born from something far beyond ourselves, a deeply hidden, subconscious passion. A bond, not between humans, but between the human and the Eternally Divine. Maybe this is a longing that cannot be completely fulfilled in this lifetime. And as one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, put it: 

These are just my thoughts recently. I tend to be a deep thinker, topics like this fascinate me.

Share your thoughts too if you'd like!


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