What is the human spirit?
It’s been the subject of poetry, movies, music and philosophy since the dawn of time.
It’s cool to talk about, sometimes beautiful to describe.
But what IS it?
Is it possible to describe from a purely biological perspective?
Let’s give it a try from a purely evolutionary perspective.
One way to look at any human “trait” is to imagine a couple groups of ancient people, some who had the trait, some who didn’t.
So, how would something philosophical like the “human spirit” be represented in a group of ancient people?
How would we know the difference between those who had “it” and those who didn’t?
I imagine two groups of cave people. One group is content to sit around in a particular valley.
Maybe they thought they had enough food, enough shelter, that it was “good enough.”
Then there was another tribe, who ALWAYS wondered what was over the next hill.
Even though they’d gone over hundreds of similar hills before, and found more or less the same thing, something in them kept driving them forward.
This second group, the one who had this mysterious “spirit” are the ones that populated the Earth.
They are the ones that took risks, paddling canoes across huge oceans, using only the stars to guide them.
They are the ones that spread out and figured out how to live under nearly every condition imaginable.
That other tribe, that figured a few trees and some animals to hunt once in a while was “good enough,” what happened to them?
Sadly, we can see those people among us as well.
Even within ourselves.
Whenever we accept things the way they are.
Whenever we sit around and hope “somebody else” is responsible for solving our problems.
But just as surely as we flip the channels around and stare at social media all day, that ancient drive still exists.
Patiently waiting for you to wake it up.
Once you do, you can become an explorer of your own life.
Learning more, doing more, experiencing more, discovering more.
There’s a HUGE world out there.