Depending on who you ask, ‘what is human nature?’ You’ll receive a completely different response. The lens with which the world is viewed is the key here. An economist may say human nature is to strive for development and growth, a health practitioner may say human nature is to strive for a long, healthy life. A cultural anthropologist may say human nature is a social animal striving to belong and connect. A technology expert may say human nature strives for innovation; an ecologist may say human nature is to ensure a balance between living organisms and their natural environment and spiritual leader may say human nature is to strive for peace and equanimity.
The time in history we ask this question, would also change the response. Our First Australians would still answer human nature is to be caretakers for our living community (flora and fauna) that sustains it. In fact, all of our ancestors, first peoples from all over the globe, would have said the same, looking out for one another our natural world, which provides us with this abundance, shelter, clean air and water to live and be, without which we wouldn’t be able to ask this question.
But I’m asking this question in 2020 and my answer would be all the above. We need all our lenses to blend into one and just like in nature a diverse community ensures resilience and survival. The basics of clean air, water, shelter and healthy soils for food should be a given for all our living communities. Anything additional could focus on community development and innovation with the aim of continuing to ensure all our living communities, including our wildlife with which we share this bounty, have their basic needs met. That is my human nature, in which human and nature are one and the same. So, what’s your nature?
Hale Adasal CEN Chair