Far too often I’ve heard people use the excuse “It’s human nature” when people talk about something negative that some person did to another human. It’s funny how hypocritical someone can be without realizing it. I myself am full of hypocrisies and am not ignorant enough to believe otherwise.
We see video on national geographic of animals killing each other, and we say oh that’s disgusting, animals are so uncivilized and dirty. A woman cheats on her boyfriend or vise versa, and people say that it’s human nature, that “we aren’t supposed to be tied down otherwise we wouldn’t cheat on our spouses”. Take for another example the wars that are happening around the world. Well humans have been at war for years, centuries, millenia perhaps. Yet I can’t help but to disagree with the notion some people have that it is human nature to be at war. “Well we’ve been having wars for a long time, so it must be human nature.” Right and once a drug addict always a drug addict, because all the people who have overcome substance abuse are just faking that they no longer exhibit anti-social behaviour or paranoid schizophrenic tendencies.
It seems to me that people have swapped the definitions of two similar yet different things, human nature and habit. Habits are broken everyday, some take longer than others but a habit is just that. Something akin to a nervous tic, that not all people share but perhaps large amounts of people do. So just because everyone else does it does it mean you will to? (I’m smirking at how much like my mother I sound right there.) To me it is unconscionable how people can sign off negative aspects as something they cannot rise above! To blame wanting revenge, cheating, or other negative things on something that is still not 100%understood is a cowardly scapegoat for people who do not want to take responsibility for things that they are at fault for. But before I mentioned wars, clearly I can’t be saying that something so engrained in our history is not human nature. I say no, it is not our nature. I’m saying wars are a product of another shortcoming, a topic I’ve written about twice already, Communication, or lack there of.
It is really too easy to blame our personal weakness on something that we cannot control. Something that is ingrained in us so deep that we would be damaged goods if we didn’t follow it, is not the same as a habit. What would I call human nature? Curiosity, the want to create, and possibly, if I may dare say, the want to connect with other people on a deep level far beyond the random hello on the street. The way I see something that would be natural, is that it cannot be classified as inherently good or bad by any party. It is a force that we can use for whatever purpose we see fit, much like a vine. That vine can be fashioned into a ladder which can be used to help someone out of a tough spot. Or it could be used to strangle someone to death. The vines nature was just simply to grow, not to be used by human hands.
Take a step back and look at all the major figures in human history, from the Kings, Emperors and Pharaoh’s, to Dictators, Presidents, Prime ministers and the Spiritual Leaders sprinkled in between them. From one ideal set to another they skip from one side to the other of the moral line. Bad morals, good morals, does Hitler show that berating, degrading and hate are human nature? I’d say as much as you’re willing to step out of your house and shoot your neighbour right this second. Does Ghandi show that loving and caring about people as well as the planet are human nature? I’d say as much as your willing to go plant a Garden of Eden in your backyard where unicorns roam free. What is human nature then? Is what we’re doing because of genetics and natural evolution of the mind and body? Or is it because of the soul we posses and are? Or are we doing what we want just because we want to? First I’d say own up to your actions, pay attention to what you really want and feel. Not what you think other people want you to feel and do, what you want to. After that I think the question of what is human nature might start to have a clearer answer.
But what do I know? I’m just a guy typing words on a screen :3