I’ve formulated a new theory (a phrase you may be hearing a lot more often, if you’re new here.), but before I go into the theory, I preface with a question.
Why are some people naturally adventurous and some naturally comfortable with the familiar?
I like to think of the two schools of thought as the two sides of a familiar situation. I’ll use the stereotypical alien movie as an example, just because that’s how I am. You have the defenders, the humans, who are used to their relatively peaceful life in their comfortable little world encased in a lovely little ozone layer. They are fine until the second party is introduced. See, the humans are so opposed to new things that all it takes is a little puncture into their atmosphere to cause them to all freak out. From this point on, all energy is directed toward getting the new stuff back out of the humans’ personal space, because new is bad. Party two is the aliens, also known as adventurers. They are seeking new cultures, peoples, and worlds on purpose, for some reason. What’s this? New is good? Well, there may be bad stuff out there, but there is also good stuff- and the probability of there being more bad stuff on the new planet than on the aliens’ own planet is pretty low, so why not? New is interesting. New is good. [ Many a time, in the stereotypical alien movie, the humans are correct in freaking out, and the aliens end up being evil*, but I’ll ignore this for the sake of the post. Besides, unless we are the aliens, humans don’t like being wrong. We like watching movies about how we are right.]
So we have the first party: “I like this home. Let’s stay here. Let’s freak out about new things, because new things are bad.”
…and the second party: “This place is okay, but let’s look for other stuff. I bet that stuff might be as great or greater than this stuff is. Let’s look for new things, because new things are interesting and interesting things are good.”
These two parties are so often seen in human history that their mindsets must be built into our brains (batteries not included). Okay, sure. But cue the next question: why is it that there are two totally different mindsets, specifically opposed to each other, that occur naturally?
I don’t know. Wow, I thought this post would be longer.**
Just kidding. We’re just getting to the good part. You could say, everyone’s different, shrug, and walk off to whatever it is you do after abruptly ending a conversation, but I don’t do that. The thing is, there seem to be only two options. party one or party two. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone in a third party. the closest I’ve ever seen to a third party would be a combination of the first two (I, personally, think I am a combination of native and alien). I just can’t see how this can be a random coincidence.
This is where the theory comes in. After much thought, I began to rule out the possibilities. It can’t be a regional or circumstantial thing, except to some extent, because adventurous people can come from quiet places and vice versa. What if all of this comes from the same natural, subconscious mindset? What if parties one and two really aren’t that different?
See, one thing I know about humans is that we like to know things. That’s why we, for the most part, prefer the light over shadow- the main exception being blind people- we like seeing, thus knowing***. People just deal with fear of the unknown differently.
How would you deal with fear of the unknown? You could try to convert the unknown into known. Knowing everything possibly knowable is a good way to eliminate the unknown, however improbable. Another possible solution is to stick with what you know. By never encountering the unknown, you can create a sense of security and pretend that the unknown doesn’t exist. This nearly effectively makes one believe that the unknown doesn’t exist.
There are some problems with both schools of thought, of course. For party one, you have the inevitable probability of missing out on the great alien things out there, and the inevitable probability of the alien world invading your ozone layer. (Of course, that may be a good thing.) For party two, there is the straight, stark truth that you can’t possibly know everything. There will always be more things to know, and not even in the longest life can you possibly learn all there is to know. (In addition to the vastness of the world as it is, millions upon millions of new things happen, or are thought up, every day- no, every moment- so that even if you have read every book in the library, there will always be an infinity of knowable facts, thoughts, words, places, people, et cetera. Woah, that got a bit off topic. Guess I’ll have to write another post on that later.)
I favor being the alien over the native, but honestly, I really have to push myself outside if my comfort zone. Some may say that books can take you around the world, and that a trip to library is the greatest adventure. While I agree that books are pretty amazing (and don’t get me wrong, I love literature and, simply, words), there are things that you can only fully experience in real time. Not live on TV, not on a bucket list blog, but just personally (and I don’t mean FPS). Reading books can only take you so far. Bookmarking pages online won’t help. Am I the only one that just wants to just do something?
*That’s what went down in the colonization of the U.S.- The natives being party one and the settlers being party two.
**Excuse the sarcasm. I do that sometimes.
***Or so we think.