Uneasy wears the head

By Eireen Manikan

In my half a century of existence, I have now narrowed down to 5 observations basic human behavior that has governed most acts or propel humans to act in such manner.  Though it has not in any way made me a master at reading individuals, (always knowing that other quirky factors might come into play hence anticipating unpredictable behavior is a given) it has to say the least allowed me to be at peace with otherwise chaotic and dissonant voices in my head.  Caveat: It is best to anticipate that this article will also be replete with cliched words, statements, or adages – for life after all is a cliché. (I am a trying hard comedian, to boot)

  1. We are eternally creatures of habit – No one wants to easily go out of their comfort zones to make way for changes that need to be done. You can easily see that when you observe people in a buffet dining. We gravitate to our ‘comfort food’ and tiptoe around ‘new’ and ‘foreign-looking’ ones. Even in social gatherings, we tend to stay close to our peers and rarely go out of our way to meet new ones. Is this a good thing? Sadly, no. Life is not about riding out the waves in the same position all the time, it is meant to discover frontiers and test boundaries and the only way to navigate it is to constantly reinvent oneself and adapt to the demands of the environs.
  2. Gifts blind the eyes (Chinese Proverb) – We are a sociable and familial race. We love to develop ties and establish friendships most especially if it benefits us or our family members. This is but natural for generally our goal is to make it better than others (real talk). And so we go about the usual courtship protocol and shower people we do business with gifts. In my moral compass, gifts that are not ridiculously expensive may be acceptable AND must not be expected to be a factor in decision-making. However, we can also be susceptible to human failings like making the gifts major considerations when we dispense our professional functions.
  3. Kindness is a game-changer – It must have been my up-bringing and my ending up with a loving husband that has cocooned me from the harshness of life that I can never fully comprehend the psyche of evil people. Manifestations of kindness, on the other hand that I have witnessed globally (various cultures and backgrounds) have avoided grand disasters and impacted lives of future generations beyond our comprehension. Who has not been affected by a picture of a child offering a rose to a soldier in war? Who has not been inspired by what Professionals Without Borders do? Who brings positive influence among the youth encouraging them to make this world a better place by showing them random acts of kindness?
  4. The same pain is thicker than blood – Nothing binds individuals more than experiencing the same kind or level of hardships. Blood brothers are nothing compared to the brotherhood and loyalty individuals will show each other when they have experienced the same darkness. Look at the affinity among those who survived great tragedies, injustices and pain.  They will drop anything in a second when a ‘pain-brother’ comes calling. Though this is cathartic up to an extent, it is always hoped that they nurture each other moving forward and not keep on reliving the pain that they have undergone.
  5. We tend to get intoxicated with power and ill-gotten wealth – Give man power, and wealth he did not spew (literally) blood and sweat to get… and get yourself a bag of popcorn. Sadly, men (or women) who fall to this trap usually belong in one sector in our country and your guess is as good as mine. When intoxicated and out of the normal senses, we make major and disastrous errors. Errors that can ruin the lives of others, ruin the natural environment of an organization and cause irreparable effects in future generations.  That is not even the short of it. Scandalously, it is committed out of personal motives USING public or other people’s resources. This is the reddest flag of all human weaknesses. It corrupts younger generations and slaps the moral fiber that ought to establish a standard for a community.

Human behaviour is such a complex and interesting trillion other things and putting a top 5 is such an underrated act. But if this list resonates with you as much as it does with me, let’s give it a stronger nudge and prove and disprove it time and again. I dream to make a new list in the near future highlighting more of the positive norm unlike this one.


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