I enjoy looking at the human experience through the eyes of a child, and approaching parenthood excites me for this very reason, airport priority privileges aside. I can just imagine having discussions with a little human being, only hardwired with the basic operating system, not yet corrupted by any additional software add-ons.
Do you prefer tea in a mug or a cup sweetheart?
That sounds like a stoopid thing to care about daddy.
I’m not stupid, you’re stupid.
I often need to remind myself they’re not born 3 years old.
But pretty soon she will be 3 years old, and she’ll see me doing my thing, and I’m sure she’ll have a few questions. Why did you pick this career? Why is this important to you? How should I decide what I want to do? What does happiness even mean?
Sure enough, there are a million and one ways to build a life, but it is my opinion that Homo sapiens should never stray too far from its basic needs and tendencies.
If Koala bears started journaling the different animal species, I imagine ‘Human’ would read something like:
Playful but destructive ape, enjoys variety of food types, sexually prolific, unique language allows it to congregate in massive herds compared to all other mammals, obsessed with something called ‘purpose’, not fond of eucalyptus leaves. Shame.
Koalas are right, and people should consider the implications of this fitting summary. We like to eat, we like to form close bonds, and we like to play. Now replace ‘like’ with ‘have’.
If I get asked to speak at my daughter’s school on Career Day, I will present the kids with this basic equation: Will it get me paid? Will it get me laid? Will it let me play?
Will it get me paid?
Unless you’re satisfied living your life as a subsistence farmer, you need money, because, unlike them, you have to pay for food.
After food, most of your money will just get invested into making more money. You might buy a car, you’ll get to live further away from work and see some other places, buy a bigger house because you have more things, and it all gives the impression of a fuller life.
We live in the age of romance – ‘life is all about experiences’, and we’re motivated to throw a lot of money after them. I love new experiences myself, but I am not necessarily partial to expensive ones. That being said – I can afford to pay preposterous amounts of money for resold concert tickets, because music makes me happy and I have the cash. Other people can’t afford it, and I try to remind myself of this whenever I hate my fucking job.
If you’re not getting laid and not getting to play, you’re better off going for something that pays more. There’s always a trade-off though, and you need to be happy with it.
Will it get me laid?
Bartender is a job many people turn to out of necessity, but some people might actually prefer this line of work. They’re not concerned with paying for concert tickets – they’re working the bar where the band is playing.
Human beings are social animals. Do not confuse this concept with the desire of an individual to have 5000 friends on Facebook. We used to congregate only in small groups in our early history, but the ties that bound us were strong, and these relationships often made the difference between life and death.
The advent of society has resulted in bigger congregations, but humans aren’t yet capable of having a hundred meaningful friendships, let alone thousands. No matter how crowded life gets, you’ll always have this burning desire to find your people.
There’s a lot of searching involved, and the bartender holds a central position amongst many social people, and sometimes those people hang around till last round just because her eyes are so damn blue.
A relaxed and social work environment is a great place to meet people, and get a foot in the door. It’s great when aquaintances can become something more – meaningful sexual encounters are often more rewarding than well, technically, the penis went into the vagina.
Still, humans will absolutely settle for that.
Will it let me play?
I have a cousin who, at a very young age, decided she wanted to be a test driver for Volkswagen. She wasn’t interested in money, and a bit too young to be interested in sex – if she had been she probably would have decided on race car driver. She just loved the idea of sliding around a track all day, pushing a car to its limits, and you have to admit – that sounds fantastic. Sadly, kids are cruel, and already having been genderschooled by society, we teased the hell out of her.
Today, she’s not a test driver for Volkswagen. Little twats.
No matter what society tells you, never underestimate how desperately you need to have fun.
I play rugby for a living, and when my daughter asks me about it, I’ll be open and honest with her.
First and foremost baba, it paid really well. Don’t let anyone tell you this isn’t important. It put food on the table and Jenny the ’68 Camaro in the garage.
Secondly, it put mommy in my bed. You have to tell her I said so, and then be ready to see daddy fight for his life.
Thirdly, even though daddy absolutely hated training, I sure did have loads of fun playing the game. I developed great friendships and I met some wonderful human beings, in three continents. We were naughty and we were decent and we were playful and we were hardworking and we were sad and we were happy and the ties that bound us were strong, almost like they were for our early ancestors, minus the bears.
I don’t like purpose-preachers, at all, and by this I mean the phillistines who intend to persuade you with a song and dance that you need to be an obsessive little go-getter.
The human experience involves regular occurrences of pain and hardship, and being so purpose-driven often makes you an expert at not dealing with those things, leaving shitloads of disillusioned and depressed people. No matter where they stand, happiness always seems to be somewhere else.
Of course, you could spend your life chasing dreams, having to continually get a fresh dose of motivation from Tony Robbins and friends, but more than likely you’ll look in the mirror and miss what’s actually there. All along, it’s been sustenance, relationships and playfulness that lie at the bottom of your desires, not ‘finding your destiny’.
We are born into societies and eventually become integrated on some level – you will have a role to play in its inner workings, and in return you’re entitled to the things a working society provides. It’s a business arrangement.
Unfortunately, thriving societies gave rise to global overpopulation – an issue at the heart of most of the world’s dilemmas in 2017, but I like to think this adds a fourth dimension to the Career Day speech.
Will I save the day?
I don’t know how much money a dolphin whisperer makes, or how much nookie he gets, or if he gets to play with the dolphins in a non-bestiality kind of way, but I don’t suspect it’s much of any of those. He might not even see big changes in his lifetime, but he still chooses to do what he does.
There are humans taking responsibility for the price our Earth pays in order to sustain us, and I think it shows a level of deeper understanding.
Saving the day is not a broad spectrum human trait, and that’s why the Koalas wouldn’t have mentioned it. You will be absolutely hunky-dory doing things in the pursuit of food, friendship and fun only, but this isn’t the worst supplement to add to the smoothie mix.
Just remember, even if you’re hellbent on saving the day but you’re running low in the other departments, you’ll still be a miserable bastard. No one likes a sapper.
You’re not a homo if you clean up after yourself, in fact, it’s not even very Homo sapiens-like, but we can all be part-time conservationists. You don’t have to start caring about dolphins, just plant a few wildflowers around the spot of grass you usually piss over when you’re drunk.
My daughter will probably call me out on rugby, and its insignificance in saving the day, but I hope to do some catching up after I’m finished.
As it stands, she’ll spend most of her formative years on a spot of land, just over 4000 acres, which has suffered from decades of overgrazing and poor farming practices. I bought it in 2015, and have since implemented renewable energy sources and steered it away from commercial meat farming. Hopefully, by the time I punch my ticket one day, the flora would have been restored to its previous variety and abundance.
This isn’t my purpose, it’s just a thank you. Also, I now have lots of space to plant some medicinal greens, and feel better about owning a gas-guzzling muscle car.
It needs to be made more human to leave a place in a better state than you found it, and I think we should apply the Koala formula in this case. Something like, save a dolphin and win a meal date with Brad Pitt which may or may not lead to sex, and a subsequent game of Dominoes.
Actually, fuck the dolphins, we need to save the Koalas.