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Thoughts on the World by Jack Umano

Archive for March 2012

Humans Evolved to be Unhappy

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Imagine two groups of early humans.  They have learned the same skills of hunting and gathering.  Through random mutations, one group has grown brains that are generally happy and satisfied with what they have.   The other groups mutations have generated brains that are more often discontent, unsatisfied and always searching for “something more.”   The happy humans gather their berries and enjoy eating them.  The discontented group wants new tastes and ventures out expanding their domain.  The happy humans enjoyed living by the sea and eating fish.  The discontented group fought with each other and wanted more space so they lived farther from each other.  Some moved away and populated distant lands.  A hurricane came and destroyed villages of huts.  Only those tribes that expanded their domain survive.  Only those whose constant discontent made them “want more” were the ones who passed on their genes to us.

Over many years, in countless examples, dis-contentedness helped forward the human species.  Dis-contentedness counteracts laziness.   And now, though we have so much, we are unhappy.  I have often heard of people who “had it all” and yet they still felt like “something was missing.”  Often people conclude that God is missing from their lives.  But, I have heard this same longing from veteran clergymen, “As a Pastor, my spiritual life was stagnating.”

Except in a few rare cases, we seem to be incapable of sustained happiness.  It is part of the human condition.


Written by Jack Umano

March 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Philosophy