A Satisfied Life


cooperation (Photo credit: glsims99)


Satisfaction in life never comes from extreme abundance or deficiencies. Too much and too little water are both harmful to us. Along with presence of resources, an appropriate flow throughout our biological system is also vital. The resources on which our biological systems depend for nourishment and sustainability must flow to the areas of need throughout the body. Each cell, each organ and each of us must perform a role based on the premise of contributing nourishing value in the context of community to be satisfied while being open to receive nourishing value from that same community. We depend on each other for satisfaction. The community needs us, and we need the community. This contribution of nourishing value in the context of the needs of the larger community is the starting place for cultivating satisfaction. We must have a stake in each other’s success. If the values that motivate our actions at all relationship scales – from cellular, to the relationships between organs in our body, to family, friends, and larger community are aligned around this interdependent nourishing community principle of life, we then cultivate the environment for our greatest potential for satisfaction. This same principle of community also extends outward from us as a species human and its role as an organ in the larger body of life.

The value system expressed through our biology tells us where relational and social poverty comes from. It also tells us how we can address these same issues, by investing in community. The reason individuals who sacrifice others on the altar of their own greed are never satisfied is because it violates the essence of who we are as stated by our basic biology as social biological creatures. Ubuntu is word that comes from the Nguni languages of Africa. There is a story, perhaps a legend, that encapsulates the essence of what the word means. It is as follows: An anthropologist proposed a game to children of an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruits under a tree and he told children that the one who reaches it first will win the sweet fruits. When he told them to run, they all took each other by the hand and ran together, then sat down together to share their sweets. When he asked them why they had ran like that, while one of them could have all the fruits to himself, they said: Ubuntu! Ubuntu in essence means: “I am because we are.” And ubuntu is the real key to satisfaction in life.


2 responses to “A Satisfied Life

  1. I really like this sentiment, and I see it expressed too rarely. It’s really very hard for a person to lead a completely self-sufficient life, and impossible to do so while also being rich. Rich people always attain or sustain their lifestyles by taking a lot of things from others, either directly or indirectly. Not necessarily by taking money, but by taking labor, sweat, and tears. When they deny this fact, they are guilty of a kind of sin.

    • Thanks for sharing that. I obviously agree we do not hear it enough, still rarer is to see it demonstrated with any degree of high fidelity. If you can think of ways to promote a wider understanding of how this vital information can be better shared, please share those ideas. In my opinion understanding the valuable messages communicated through biology is far more important than reading writing and basic math. Ignorance of this negatively affects so many of our social systems and ends up inducing poverty on the heels of shortsighted grabs that ultimately defeat our own purpose and satisfaction.

      I also think from a larger perspective, no one lives a completely self sufficient life. We cannot detach completely from the web of biological relationships that sustain us even if we decide to be a hermit in adult life. That lifestyle would have had to have been on the heels of nourishing assistance from the womb and early childhood. Even if we ignore that aspect of dependency we are still an inseparably connected to the larger body of life. We cannot live independent of the various biological forms that nourish us. Oxygen and carbohydrate producing life forms need what we have Carbon dioxide and nitrates. Many microbes in our microbiome tare essential to digestion. In this sense we are part of the cellular and organ structure that composes the body of life on the planet. These and other nourishing relationship processes are part of the self sustaining web we cannot separate from without disintegrating ourselves. Again thanks for contributing.

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