Utopia and the Strife of Life

So I recently found out about a man named John B. Calhoun who built a utopia for mice (specifically Universe 25). Go look up the details, it’s all oddly interesting. But spoiler alert: it didn’t work.

The experiment was conducted to study social behavior, and some people began to draw comparisons between mouse behavior and human behavior. Others pointed out that humans are vastly different from mice and the comparisons cannot be made. I would say both have their merits. I have seen similar behaviors in humans that the mice exhibited, but I have also seen humans change their behaviors in spite of their surroundings.

I’ll let you look up all the details, but I want to focus on the part where many of the mice had nothing to do. Since space, food, and water were all plentifully available, many mice had nothing to protect or work for. So they did whatever they could to occupy themselves, be it withdrawing and grooming themselves all day, or enacting violence on others.

This is something I’ve noticed in humans: We need work to do, we need purpose. When we humans lose our sense of purpose, we often become depressed and dejected, doing anything and everything just to feel. We need the strife of life. We need something to work towards.

Additionally interesting to me, yesterday evening during the sermon the preacher said that each generation tries to give the next generation a better and easier life than they had. While it’s not bad to want more for someone else, we also need to be careful not to shelter people from life itself. I’ve noticed that current generations have never had it so easy, but we’ve also never been so depressed and overly sensitive.

Life is like exercise: if you don’t push and pull against resistance, you will not get stronger and you will not grow. It’s not always fun, but work is good. Having something to strive for gives you rewards once you reach it.


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