Why does the worst in us always emerge unannounced while the best is always displayed only at our discretion?
Why do we succeed easily in bringing the worst out of people with such ease while bringing the best out of them is a rare virtue that eludes most people (and is by no means an easy task for those that it doesn’t)?
Is this human nature at its primitive best?
Or a sign of the fact that we haven’t progressed very far in the evolutionary process?
Was there any concept of love and affection and compassion in the days of cavemen?
Do basic life forms such as single-celled amoebae, from which we are supposed to have evolved, have any capacity for such virtues?
If not, then are all these virtues merely learned behavior that make life pleasant on this planet?
Were they the founding principles of civilization? Traits necessitated by the need for amicable co-existence?
Does that mean that they are only as good as the most compelling factor of evolution—physical and emotional comfort which, while being fairly important for life on earth, aren’t as important from the perspective of true and lasting progress in life?
And what about the negative traits?
Did they also evolve in parallel or did they exist from the very beginning? Were the primitive life forms’ parasitic ability to survive by assimilating other life forms a primitive version of these despicable traits?
If survival is indeed a key driver of evolution does it mean that these so called negative traits are more real and more fundamental than the good ones?
Does that mean that all the so called ‘desirable’ virtues are just part of learned behavior that masks the true bad nature that is the natural predisposition of every human being?
Is good behavior just a more evolved form of manipulation that requires effort to learn?
Is that why the worst has an better instinctive grip on us than the good?
Is that why attaining to these desirable virtues is celebrated? Victory of the underdog?
How can bad be bad if it is part of nature? How can good be good if bad is not bad?
Is there any such thing as good and bad at all?
Ashok Natarajan is a business consultant by profession and a lay seeker in his personal capacity. He has explored some forms of yoga, meditation, some ancient scriptures (thanks to being born in India) and some non-traditional methods of self-exploration. As a casual blogger he attempts to share his thoughts/experiences/observations/inferences with like-minded people through words even though he firmly believes that words can never capture human experiences. He is on Facebook under the name ‘Clemens Pullikaran’ which was a name he was given by his first European guests at a beach resort in south India that he managed for a while when he took a break from his technology-infested life.
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Ed: T. Lemieux & B. Bemel