We are All Human

090523TGT_dsc1240Ss copyI know it’s obvious.

We are all human. We are not divine; we are mammals and it is easy to prove that we have built-in reflexes and other mental attributes. Some of these are so automatic that they are not specifically controlled by our logical brain.

For example, if you are getting a physical examination, the doctor might tap your knee with his little rubber hammer. He wants to know if your “knee jerk response” is working properly. In other words, if your automatic nervous system is functional.

Similarly, there are some things that we all want and need that are so important that they are buried deep in the parts of the brain that work automatically. We don’t think about them. We just react.

Those are things that we want and need, just because we are human.

For example, it is well studied that babies — human babies — want and need to be cuddled or they will not thrive. If they are not cuddled at all, they may die. That is a common human need. Humans want and need other humans — when they are babies, when they grow and when they mature. Therefore it is important that your relationships with other humans should be responsible, ethical and thoughtful because those are qualities that are special to human life.

All humans want and need to be nurtured by other humans. It’s a fact that is built into our biological nature. It is a trait that has evolved our biological position at the top of the evolutionary tree of social animals. Of if we were created; the fact remains.

When we fail to model responsibility or fail to consider the welfare of other humans, we are failing our own human nature. What’s worse — if we don’t give, we don’t get. We end up torturing our own selves.

Now – everyone knows the above, or at least it makes sense to us all. What we so often fail to do is CONNECT what we all really want with whatever we are doing and THINK to ourselves:

“Is there any connection between what I want and what I am doing?” If there is no road or bridge, then I probably won’t get from here to there, even if whatever I am doing feels good as a temporary substitute.

For example, what we discussed yesterday. Getting to the head of the line. First, we can’t succeed at that because there is no head to the line. Now. Second. How does getting to the head of the line get me what we all want, which is to be nurtured?

Or whatever it is that you do when you get that “I WANT” feeling. Will forcing your wife to submit give you what you really want? Killing? War? Will it get you what you need to demand that your opinion be respected? Will it get you what you need to ignore the pain and sorrow and disagreements and differences of opinions of other people, as so many well-meaning people do? Just don’t rise? List everything that you do whenever you are disturbed that you aren’t getting what you want. Which one is likely to work? Long term.

For all this time this blog has been devoted to concepts of power – at every level, and this is the basic take-home message. Your personal power is available to you if you know how to use it, but it will not do you any good unless you

1. know what you want and
2. behave in such a way that it is physically and emotionally possible to get to what you want from wherever you are.

And when we individually figure that out, our personal power is very nearly unlimited. And when our culture figures it out — then we will have REAL power, not the poor unsustainable imitation we believe in today.
(Photo from the upcoming book Texas Skies).