This is, as I said on a comment at The Burning Platform, one of the best articles I’ve seen in many months. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:
Human beings are first and foremost a species of mammal. I don’t mean any disrespect to our more religious posters, but if you are in denial of this biological fact then there is no way you are ever going to understand human behavior and discover why people act the way that they do.
We are hardwired by our Creator, Nature, evolution- whichever belief system you choose to believe in- to fulfill a specific destiny. Just as a cat or a dog expresses itself in specific ways so to does our own genus.
#1 Human beings are a social animal. They require the support, nurture, acceptance and embrace of other human beings from their birth until their passing and while there exist outliers- mountain men in the 18th and 19th century, hermits or castaways- the vast majority of mankind lives out his destiny in the companionship of others. This is primarily built around the nuclear family, Mother, Father, sisters and brothers extending outward through bloodlines and followed closely by local community, clans, tribes, neighbors, friends, schoolmates, co-workers, brothers in arms, etc. The values we embrace during our lives are not, nor have they ever been self-created, but rather passed on by these members of each community, culture or nation.
In the absence of these fundamental connections- in the case of refugees, orphans, prisoners, outcasts, etc. there are always associated pathological behaviors that develop and often plague the person throughout their life. Alienation, depression, self-harm, criminal behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, and an attraction to fringe sub-cultures and cults in order to replace the bonds that have been broken or do not exist. The most severe cases are those that arise from a disruption in our closest bonds; absent fathers, separation from extended family, geographic isolation. The importance of social inclusion and a solid family foundation cannot be underestimated in the prevalence of social and psychological disorders we are currently experiencing.