Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Survival. It’s what we humans are best at; if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be here. Sure, we do other stuff as well, but when push comes to shove, it’s survival which has the stamina to, er, survive and hold out when other motivations have dried up.

It doesn’t have to be a sabre-tooth tiger breathing down your neck, or a guy with a knife, even if the knife is purely metaphorical; the survival principle drives action minute by minute, day by day, year by year as we survive one task, one interaction, one project to the next. Do what has to be done, do what can’t not be done; get through the next minute, the next hour with my self-image intact, and maybe there will come a time when at last there are no imminent threats to survival of who I think I am – no deadlines to meet, no promises to keep, no commitments to honour – and there’ll be space.

Yeah, right. That time will only come when I’m on my deathbed. But surely humankind should have evolved past this survival stage by now? Should have moved to a higher plane? Or does survival of the fittest mean that the survival motivation itself is the greatest survivor, its future guaranteed by its very existence?

Perhaps it’s just as well, given the threats which face us as a race.

I wish I knew just what this weight is which oppresses me so. Looked at objectively, I have no real pressures, no threats; I face no risks, no challenges. So why this constant feeling of struggle, of pressure; feelings of inadequacy, always running to stand still?

It doesn’t make sense.

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