Human Nature Is The Same

I have largely stayed away from commenting or holding any opinion on the ongoing shenanigans of the US political landscape for two reasons. First, I do not understand it enough to hold an opinion. Secondly, I am not willing to have my time invested in its understanding (yet). However, the event that led up to the mobs taking over the Capitol is something I will like to take a few lessons from.

It is easy to think a divide of the human race is more well behaved, ethically sound and self-controlled than the other simply because their country is more beautiful, organized and rich. The #EndSars protest in Nigeria comes to mind here. Hoodlums hijacked the protest to do all forms of atrocities, breaking into the Oba Palace and carrying his symbol of authority away is relevant here. I imagined hearing some people saying in their mind, “this can only be in Nigeria”.

Well, the event of the Capitol Hill would have us believe otherwise. In fact, the history of human evolution from either from hunter-gatherer or Adam will not agree.

Human is fundamentally the same. We are all driven by the same desire, emotion and passion. What is even most interesting is that if you pay attention enough, everywhere you turn to, you will see the pattern.

In a recent interview appearance by Ram Parameswaran on Invest Like The Best podcast, Ram a legendary investor said this: “human nature is the same, whether you live in America, Western Europe, India, or China, you’re the same person, you want to eat food, you want to buy your groceries, you want to get stuff from a shop, it is the same thing”. It has always been the same thing, you just may not know. And your location, or position in that location doesn’t change that.

René Girard developed the idea of mimetics. He said, “human beings are creatures of mimicry. We are evolutionarily supercharged to do one thing better than anyone else: learn by watching and copying others. And the most important thing we learn is how to want.” René Girard is calling our attention to another common denominator behaviour of human. We are creatures of mimicry, he said. We want things because others want them. And when that behaviour continues, it creates scarcity while other things follow.

The point here is simple. Every corner that you look at, every mountain top that you gaze at and every valley that you step into, there are fundamental human behaviours that will always surface. Greed, love, insatiable desire, hope, sex, mimetic, hunger and many more. East, west, south and north, humans remain the same. Don’t ever think environmental conditions of wealth, development, poverty and so on will make this change. After centuries, humans are still asking if they are supposed to be their brother keeper and we are still eating the fruit from the forbidden tree. It has always been and it will continue to be.

Where does this knowledge leave us?

It does help us in a lot of things.

1. Picking more from the insight that Ram shared, it means as an international investor (he is one) when you get to a new market, you start your learning about the market with these universal common denominators. You know we all want to eat, have sex and make money. Is your company helping us achieve any of these fundamental desires and on what scale? What part of the fundamental nature of human is your business catering for and how urgently do we want to accomplish those desires? Upwork and Fiverr have seen a good upsurge globally simply because of this. We all want to make money and that is exactly what these platforms offer us. You bet they will succeed and you will bet right.

2. When you are negotiating this knowledge also comes in handy. Just as you want to win, the other party wants to win as well. There is no doubt about that. Otherwise, the party would have agreed to your terms immediately or even neglect your bid. The next task for you is to find out what their definition of winning is and what you are ready to sacrifice to ensure a win-win scenario. We are all the same.

Read more about negotiation here – What’s In It For Me? – Become A Better Negotiator

3. It helps when designing incentives either as a company or as an individual or a country. People will only respond to an incentive that appeals to them.

These are just 3 few ideas of the innumerable implication of that fact that came to my mind. The principle is what you should keep to mind and never be caught by surprise again.

2 thoughts on “Human Nature Is The Same

  1. this is it-
    “The next task for you is to find out what their definition of winning is and what you are ready to sacrifice to ensure a win-win scenario.”

Comments are closed.