Survival instincts are deep embedded in our primal DNA and in our amygdala. Fear is one of them, and kicks in to keep us safe from predators, or so it was in ancient times. Necessity is another, and we find it when our basic needs are not provided for: food, water, sleep.
Fear has lost, in most cases, its original purpose, to keep us alive. Our inability to control fear is used against us on a daily basis now, as an attention grabber. More and more people fight this type of manipulation by ignoring its sources.
On the other hand, we are rapidly moving toward a world of abundance, where scarcity will become something of the past. In this world, necessity seems to have lost its main vectors. If there will be no scarcity, food, water, electricity, and other basic needs would have been assured and almost taken for granted.
Necessity is a powerful force that makes our body and mind work at 110% to overcome it. It is an experience I lived and that I saw others go through as well. Read about it too.
Would a world of abundance, despite its obvious benefits, make us lazier? I don’t know.
Necessity can find other forms of manifestations in a world of abundance. But if it’s no longer from our DNA (or maybe will it be?), since our basic needs are being taken care of, would it be as powerful?
Let me see if this example gets us any closer to an answer.
I know of a TV show that runs in my country and probably in others too (which I never watch, but I know people who do).
In this show, contestants (which are well-known and usually have plenty of money), subject themselves to some of the worst possible conditions traveling through some Asian countries. I have no idea how the contest is won or what’s its purpose, but I always wondered: Why would they agree to participate to this show? Is it for the money? Many of them already have plenty. Is it for the adventure? Maybe.
What I think is their most powerful (untold) motivator is to really see and appreciate what they have as opposed to what they could have if they had a different life, maybe elsewhere.
But on occasions I think many of us may need such a reminder to re-find our bearings.
Of course, I believe abundance is preferable to scarcity. But I think we might need to re-define some elements like necessity in the new context.