What Kind of Ape Do You Want To Be?

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Life is hard for us humans.  We were apes not long ago. just a million years or so, and within just a few thousand years–a mere moment in the evolutionary time scale–we have completely transformed our world.  Biologically we have not evolved significantly in the past few thousand years, so we’re adapted to a completely different environment than that in which we currently live.

We are, after all Ape 2.0.  We are meant to live in tribes of 50-100 persons, with constant threat of death by cold, thirst, starvation, or predation, roughly in that order of importance.  We have evolved according to the roles needed by a tribe of Ape-Humans; that is, we need worriers, warriors, semi-psychotic shamans, nurturers, gatherers, hunters and defenders of the faith and traditions of the tribe.  We are all still here, just as we were 10,000 years ago, with more or less the same range of personalities.

Being Ape 2.0 in the current world is very, very difficult.  Gone, for the most part, are the physical threats of the past, at least in the developed world.  Lacking any true dangers, we respond to mostly symbolic threats in various neurotic ways.  We worry constantly, we beat up and criticize those we love, we drink alcohol and use drugs, we hear voices and believe what the voices tell us.  We belittle others, we attack others, we indulge in selfish and destructive activities.

The good news, though, as Jane Goodall could tell you, is that apes are also capable of great gentleness and compassion.  They are loving, nurturing creatures on the whole.  They look after their tribe.  If anyone from another  tribe should wander in, though, well, they beat him to death with sticks.

As Ape 2.0, we have choices to make.  What kind of ape do you want to be?  Gentle and nurturing, defending the tribe nobly?  Or viciously attacking anyone who is different?  Diligently gathering and hunting for the tribe?  Or fighting turf wars within the tribe, tackling other Alphas in a fierce battle for dominance?

We have no choice about whether we are Ape 2.0.  We have only this choice: What kind of Ape-Human do you want to be?

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1 Comment

Filed under Everyday Mindfulness

One response to “What Kind of Ape Do You Want To Be?

  1. I haven’t seen you for a long time. Thanks for checking out my blog.

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