A book I am reading, refers to man as a creature of battle. Forever plagued with an unquenchable desire to be better than those around him; to emerge victorious, he wages war against his betters, and those who he fears might surpass him.
These wars do not all involve a desire to kill or violence even. No, the worst of these battles are fought closer to home every day. Look to the children burning the midnight oil to be ranked above their mates at school, to the farmer in his fields working hard to surpass his neighbor, to the banker trying to land bigger accounts .To the chef who strives for even better recipes in the search for perfection.
So do not say man is not a creature of war, for his battles are endless. When he conquers one nation, he looks on to the next greedily for that is his base nature. (Reneo_k 2016)
This then begs the question, the trillion dollar question – if one does attain everything he wants (wealth, health, status and love) what then? With nothing left to conquer, what happens to the insatiable drive or unappeasable desire to be better than anyone when we finally reach our respective peaks.
Does he simply live off his riches and glory until death comes? Can one truly call that living? The prospect is surely inviting, or is it?
I tried hard to pass the message exactly the same way the author of the book put it, doing everything short of quoting him exactly.
Normally, I would argue that the author’s sentiments were misplaced. That he was looking at humanity from a completely outrageous point of view, but I had to be honest with myself, he had hit the proverbial bulls-eye. We ARE creatures of war.
What I was more concerned about was the question he asked; what then after you have achieved ultimate power, which frankly speaking is nigh impossible, but in the event that it was possible WHAT THEN? What comes after that? This, my friends is a question that I don’t think I can answer.
We live in a world where it is the encouraged norm, from the day you are born to be better than your respective peers. As babies and kids our parents do it for us by putting us in the best schools and clothes they can afford, by bragging how their babies must be the smartest they ever encountered while trying to argue their objectivity on the matter. They push us then punish us all in attempt to give us a fighting chance in the society into which we were born. As we grow into adults we continue the practice. We pass it on to our children. All this by itself isn’t wrong but coupled with unbalanced direction, might be detrimental for our better healthier living.
The problem comes when we lose sight of what’s important, I mean what’s really important in this world, for me and for every living being. “TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING IS BAD.” Yes we are creatures of war, but we are FIRST social beings. Even God saw man needed companionship We’ve come to a point where success, making money, and living the life, is all that clouds our every thought, disregarding those we step on or leave behind on our way to the top.
What happens when we do achieve this greatness, this success that we give up everything for, this glory that we abandoned living for, what happens then? It isn’t bad to achieve greatness, but at what cost?
So I urge us to tread the path to success very, very carefully, else we lose ourselves. Else we lose people we care about, people who care about us. Else we pay the price for that success with our happiness and receive no change for our efforts. I mean I wouldn’t want to get to the top just to look around and realize I was alone.
But these are just the combined thoughts of two writers. Food for thought, what are you willing to sacrifice on your way up?