In reading Edward O Wilson’s, Consilience, he discusses the study of epigenetics and how the interplay of culture and our genes shapes human behavior.
Wilson points out the uniqueness of the human animal (though of that I am not so sure) in how large a part of our environmentally shaped evolution has been culturally based. As opposed to other mammals, etc.
It draws an interesting consideration as to the shapability and influence we as individuals can have upon humanity as a whole.
Think of the flow of human behavior and the interaction of how our cultural interactions influence us. By and large, we tend to fall into these flows or patterns of behavior through cultural suggestion.
Think of the cultural discussion of the relative merits between fastfood and dine- in restaurants and their relative health impact. The whole premise of how we dine out is a human construct. And we currently construe that behavior between an array of choices across these realms of formats.
We could, instead have dining experiences where we show up to a venue to prepare or cook the ingredients ourselves. Or maybe place value on being the server of food to others. Or perhaps a unique shopping experience where we sample potential dining menu items that are primarily purchased and stored for later consumption in the home.
The whole premise of how we shape our this or that choice of behaviors is shaped and influenced by cultural interaction.
Back to my point (yes there is one) and the mention of flows so to speak of human behavior on a given subject.
As individuals, we have the ability to shape these flows.
Think of a river. One small flow in a large stream may seem to be lost in the general current of movement. But whether that flow is changed to be an obstacle (think of placing a rock in the stream) or that individual flow is instead an influence to nudge the stream in a new direction, we can begin to see the power or at least the potential in influence of the individual and their encumbent flow.
And now to understand the reasoning for the image chosen for this post… shall this be a new day dawning in considering how your own individual choices may shape humanity in some way? Not to get lost in the reality of our impact on specific events or detailed types of behavior, I more want us to consider the import of our general approach to life. Where do you want humanity to be in the future? To what characteristics do you wish it to lend. The big questions are not too big to ask in this context.
Do we want to be a creature of war or of peace? Do we wish to promote coexistence with our fellow humans or do we wish to promote some specific peoples over others.
Do we wish to continue the abundant ease of consumption of hot, fresh french fries or shall we oh never mind.