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Maja Dezulovic
 
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People Are Funny Animals

26 February 2014, 05:30
I watched an old Jamie Uys film the other day entitled “Animals Are Beautiful People”. I loved the way the director highlighted the similarities in which we live our lives as compared to animals in the wild, specifically those in the Kalahari Desert. We have more in common than we think.

My proposition is that people are funny animals. Animals follow their instincts. They follow the food sources and life sources which sustain them. If a river dries up, the animals migrate to the next closest water source. Granted, we as humans have become smarter and taken it a step further. We have built pipelines to bring the water to us. However, the comparison I am trying to make is not about following food and water sources. I am referring to adaptability.

For some reason, we have developed the habit of grabbing on to things. People lose their homes because they fail to talk to the banks or place their houses on the market the moment they realise that they can no longer afford the bonds on their properties.

They stupidly wait until the bank comes in and repossesses the property. An old shopkeeper will hang onto his decaying fish ‘n chips shop in a dead-beat town because it is his life’s work, that is the town in which he grew up, raised his children and worked all his life. Why is it that we value comfort and attachment over all else? We were created to adapt and evolve with our natural circumstances.

Moreover, for some reason we have learnt to ignore our inner voices and rather base our reactions on so-called logic and social norms. Good detectives, wealthy businesspeople and most successful people attribute many of their achievements to following their hunches. Your gut feelings are there to guide you.

I’m not saying that we must become primitive and act solely on impulse but we should supplement our “animal instincts” and control them with rational thinking rather than completely ignore them. The way many of us are reacting to life-changing events and living is counter-intuitive to nature.

Living your whole life in the same box, however big or small you may think it is, is not exciting.

The world is full of opportunities. It is ripe with places to see, people to meet and ways to make money. These things are also in constant change. Yesterday’s major city may be a ghost town tomorrow and vice versa.

We must learn to go with the flow and not hold on to the crumbling remains. Life is about challenges and adapting to this ever-changing world.
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