The best part of aging is getting to know yourself. I like being 50.
I pretty much know how and what I think about issues (I try to look at all the angles) and why I think that way about them.
One of my goals in Life is to be able to respond, rather than just react,
to the ups and downs that Life throws at me.
It seems self evident that Mother Nature has 'raised us' to be more emotionally driven reactors than rational responders. Throughout most of our evolutionary path, before tool making and co-operative hunting techniques allowed us to kill everything in sight, we Humans were more of a prey item than a predator
This is also reflected by studying our natural, omnivorous, diet, which again would be slightly more of a herbivore/prey/react creature, than that of a carnivore/predator/respond animal.
As we all know, in a properly balanced habitat, there are always far more prey animals than predators.
It seems to me that prey animals are always watching for danger,
and predators are always looking for prey.
So Humans ended up being this weird combo of prey/predator and that partially explains why we are so bizarre. It is beneficial for prey to be a bit skittish and wary while it is advantageous for predators to be calm and confident.
Our closest relatives offer an invaluable glimpse into the evolution of our behaviour.
The Chimpanzees (98% of our DNA) "have an omnivorous diet, a troop hunting culture based on beta males led by an alpha male, and highly complex social, (primarily retaliatory) relationships.
Our other cousins, the Bonobos, have a mostly frugivorous diet and an egalitarian, non-violent, matriarchal, sexually receptive behaviour."
As expected Chimps are complex and according to Wiki;
"they engage in apparently altruistic behaviour, show evidence of spirituality, exhibit acts of mourning & romantic love, they do a little rain dance, seem to appreciate the natural beauty of sunsets, display curiosity, respect, even empathy, toward other species (such as feeding turtles) and pretend play by cradling and grooming rocks or sticks."
As one would expect, Chimps being so closely related to us, and aren't we special, are also very complex. Evidently the dynamics of Human social structure eerily mirrors the reactionary Chimpanzee troops, but deep down, and be honest, most of us would rather live responsively like Bonobos!
Perhaps juggling this uneasy balancing act is the price we pay for owning this ridiculously overdeveloped brain. History has proven, time and time again, that our emotions can be easily manipulated by war mongering selfish Alpha males and provoke us into reacting and engaging in incomprehensibly-violent, behaviour.
So we seem to be stuck within the parameters of this perplexing bipolarity.
While we may be ever-so-slightly more of a passive prey item, just below our whisper-thin psychological veneer, lurks our aggressive predator program..
waiting to be unleashed.
How can we speed up our ascent and tilt our psychological scales into a living in a predominantly Bonoboistic Society?