So, let’s go right back to basics. What makes us tick? To start answering this, we’ll focus on the human condition. By exploring the primal needs that have evolved over centuries, we can shed some light on this age old question.
We are naturally a WE, not I, species. We love belonging to a tribe. Think of a pod of dolphins vs. the lone wolf. A herd of elephants vs. the solo polar bear.
As humans, we’re constantly balancing our personal and our social needs. If we fail to meet our personal needs, it can lead to a loss of autonomy or personal freedom. However, failure to meet our social group needs is a lot more dramatic - loneliness, a sense of isolation and, if pushed to the very extreme, the breakdown of human civilisation as we know it.
By creating a sense of belonging, we create meaning for ourselves. It influences our capacity to communicate and be understood. In short, the more connected we feel to each other, the happier we are.
And the way we connect is via a shared culture - experiences and emotions, beliefs and practices. These form a common narrative which acts as a social glue, binding us all together.
We are naturally tribal. We value a shared culture which bonds families together, bonds friends together and bonds the nation together. This innate need has evolved over centuries.
Hear what one of our experts, Dr Stephanie Baker, has to say on Primal Need: