A new year, a new perspective and time to evaluate the person in the mirror before we set out to change the world. That face that stares back every morning can sometimes become a stranger. Especially when we’ve spent a significant amount of time studying, criticizing, advising and otherwise judging everyone else.
The truth is, the more we direct another’s life the less we have to ponder our own. One way to put yourself back into your driver seat is to investigate what makes you tick and why you do what you do. By dividing our typical modes of operation into four types, we may be able to pinpoint how we make choices and why. The four that seem obvious and dominant are Predator, Prey, Parasite and Scavenger. But there is one more type to be noted, Observer.
The Predator is highly competitive, seeks control and domination, is constantly hungry for more and is focused on getting what she wants no matter what the cost. The Predator sees justification for taking out the weakest individuals in the survival of the fittest philosophy. Weed out those that cannot make it on their own and it leaves more for those who can.
The Prey is always looking over his shoulder, always expecting to be hurt, forgotten, taken advantage of or pushed aside. The Prey is in a constant state of need and becomes dependent upon anyone that has the means to provide. Once conditioned to the state of mind, being a dependent weak member of society becomes a motivation for manipulation and desperation with a feeling of victimization that justifies entitlements.
The Parasite finds a host that has need for what is being offered. Once that host opens up to the Parasite, it soon becomes beholding in that relationship. The Parasite knows how to present a “win/win” scenario, which will soon become a bond so tight, the host cannot function in its present capacity without the Parasite. Although it appears to be a symbiotic relationship, it actually breaks down the host after a period of time.
The Scavenger waits for the death of something, then swoops in for the spoil. If the Scavenger sees something near death it may find ways to hurry up the process rather than wait it out. This relationship can be productive in keeping an environment clean from rotting things, but the Scavenger’s sole contribution is disposing of dead things.
The Observer does not seek to be either of the other four, yet sometimes is all of them at once. The Observer exists moment by moment with each relationship a fleeting part of an immediate solution. This way of existence is much like a blade of grass or oxygen. There is a birth, a purpose, a decay, and a rebirth. The Observer lives each state of his existence knowing all is provided. There is no such word as lack or need in the vocabulary. There is only one moment of existence.
All five of these types are necessary for balance in nature. But is it also true for human nature? Could we exist and prosper if we were all Observers? Would any advancement be made if we were all Prey? There is need for a perfect balance of all types. One without the other causes stagnation. It seems likely that the best outcome for human kind would be if all five types made up who we are. There is a time and a season for everything, even our behavior.
In this new year, perhaps we can learn to appreciate the need for all types of personalities, business operations, healthy competition, ideas and philosophies. Maybe we can find a way for all to exist in a more symbiotic fashion with an understanding of the dangers of extremism. Finding that delicate balance as individuals might help us to achieve the same balance as a global society.