Exploring The Mind Essay, Research Paper
I am interested in what drives the human mind to make decisions, good or bad. Of all the problems in society everyone of them come back to what actions we decide to make in our life as individuals and as a society. To understand what motivates the decision making process is the first essential step to understanding if not resolving many problems in society. I think that all people have at least an understanding of why others react in many different situations because we all have the same natural instinctive thinking process. Although, I am unsure if this natural instinct stays the same or if it evolves throughout a persons’ life. If it does evolve, is it also a natural thing that everyone experiences on some level, or is it something that society teaches us to do for the greater good of the human population.
Instinctive thinking is probably at its purest state in children. Children from 1 to 4 years of age have a very limited knowledge of how to conduct themselves in society. They have not had time to learn the social standards of their time. So with this limited knowledge, children will consistently react to situations in a similar way that can only be explained by an instinctive nature. Have young children changed their behavior since the 1700’s? I suppose any child from any culture at any time in history would cry when it was upset, physically take whatever it wanted, need a certain amount of love and attention, and also be interested in exploring things outside of it’s bounds. I feel that all of these instinctive behaviors seen in young children are emotions that I, as a young adult, have somehow came to deal wit as a part of society. Certainly other children, adolescents, and adults young and old alike understand this behavior or it would not be accepted. A person from any background or era in history tolerates this behavior no matter if it is looked down on or not. It is just a simple fact of life that every human being can relate to in some way.
If in fact we are all born instinctive creatures motivated by the same natural thinking process, why then is our world so diverse, stricken with so many misunderstandings of others and filled with social problems? Could it be that humans naturally make decisions that only involve our own best interest and are based upon creating a life that best suits ourselves in the fashion we see fit? A child will physically take a toy or a piece of candy from another if they want it for themselves. This type of action shows no thought of well being for another and is undoubtedly self-interested. A child’s motivation in this example does not vary greatly from an adults reactionary thought process in a similar grown-up scenario. Suppose I was to sit down in a coffee shop to study for an upcoming exam that was important to me. Then a group of individuals next to me came in to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Initially I would be irritated by the disruption to my concentration before taking the time to rationalize the situation. This could easily cause a misunderstanding between both parties because both would be involved in their own best interest. Although everyone might naturally have the same instincts it is not natural to try and understand another persons actions effecting you.
Next then, I question if this natural thinking process evolves throughout time. If so, is it natures process or could it be that an individuals culture and society is responsible for changing the thinking process? There is no doubt that society regulates our actions. Laws are set in place as guidelines for socially acceptable behavior that is best for the greater population. My question then is do our minds adapt to this standard of living from years of actively having to think in this manner? I am 19 years old and my personal experience is that I have yet to be totally rid of naturally thinking of myself first, but as I have grown in age my actions have became more interested in others. It could be that through years of living in a society based around liberty and justice my mind has been taught to consider others before acting on instinctive thoughts. My point is I could have been programmed to think of others before acting. It may not be a natural evolution that the mind undergoes, but something learned in time. Another possible answer could be our natural adaptability to survive. I don’t think anyone would question our ability as humans to do the necessary things for survival. Since the dawn of man history tells us we have ruled the earth over any other life form or circumstance. Through many hardships we have done so and continued to prosper. With this history of ability to adapt to our surroundings and prosper are our minds naturally adapting to our society so we can prosper? As I grow older, is my mind naturally adapting to, “Liberty and Justice for All” for the sole purpose of me being able to survive and prosper? I am unsure.
Although I am not certain as to what causes the human mind to evolve from self oriented thinking to a more selfless decision making process, I am sure that my way of thinking has changed. I am also sure that time, my surroundings throughout my life, and a desire to care for others has effected this change. From observing others who have lived longer than myself, I am sure I will continue to change just as most humans do. So I suppose it is natural for the mind to evolve, but without our worlds society would it still evolve?