Recently I went to the snow for half a week, leaving behind my computer for beautiful snow, awesome runs and no internet. It was interesting, looking back, and seeing how I fared as the days progressed, given the avid gamer that I am.
I certainly felt the familiar urge to want to play games, for sure, throughout my stay. But it faded, and faded fast. What do we attribute this to, this shifting of needs? Was it even a shift of needs? Is me, playing games, a need? Probably not, it was just a product of the environment I live in: one of the Internet and countless entertainment options found online, games being what I found most entertaining.
So when the environment changed, is it surprising that, even though I normally play games more than is probably healthy, it didn’t cause me to keel over and start frothing from the mouth at being unable to satisfy my craving for gaming?
I guess not, because we humans are nothing if not adaptable.
It’s funny, that we want as little change and unpredictability as possible when we are in fact probably most able to deal with it. I suppose that being able to do something doesn’t mean you should seek out situations where you can. -shrug- I wouldn’t mind a bit more variety in everyday life rather than a set routine, to be honest. That’s why I play games and read books. A little escape without actually escaping, a little breath of exotic air from the comfort of home.
Anyway, everything about humans points towards our ability to adapt. From our short lifespans to the inability for a leader to ever please all of his followers, our existence relies on change. We must let go of loved ones who pass into the void. We most compromise to satisfy our bosses, or our followers. We adapt, evolve, assess and react, and we become stronger for it. The more change that is occurring around us, the greater our capacity to handle change, if that makes any sense.
So, to the next point. We are good at change, we need change, yet we don’t like change.
I, for one, certainly didn’t want to totally drop my gaming to head up into the snow, as much as I love skiing. Really, it was only because the trip was practically paid for me that I got off my lazy ass and started packing and planning, and even some of this was done for me.
I, for one, don’t want to see our government changing every week. I don’t want the local restaurants to up and move every second day. I don’t want the weather to be so unpredictable I can’t rely on forecasts.
And yet, if all of these things did happen, I could deal with it. It would be frustrating and challenging, but as a human, unless a change spelled certain death, I would eventually adapt.
I daresay this is a great strength for our species, as Darwin suggests. But I also like circles. And history. And the cycle of history is a worrying one, because some parts of that circle are bloodstained and horrifying. And I ask myself, if it is so easy for us to adapt to new ways, could it be just as easy to fall back from an enlightened state, and into the dark times of days past?
Could our greatest strength also be our greatest weakness?