40+FAB Blog

Ability in your environment

I remember when I first heard the word ‘Anthropomorphism’ – which means attributing a human characteristic to an animal, object or god – I thought it was such a big word for a simple concept we often use. We talk about the kingly poise of a lion, the cunning nature of the fox, the hardworking donkey, the gentle dove, and so on.

This concept of anthropomorphism I find reveals a characteristic of human beings that make us much more powerful than the creatures we describe. A lion can only ever be one thing and try as it may, it cannot shake off the attributes that describe it. On the other hand, a human who was as timid as a mouse yesterday can become as bold as a lion tomorrow. We can be likened to any one of those creatures and yet not be wholly defined by them because humans will change.

This brings me to another point, almost all animals gain their advantage and operate best in what is known as their natural habitat. The fish is best in water, the birds in air, the goats on the mountain, and the chetah in the savannah. Once that environment is changes, their inability to adapt or change their nature betrays them, and soon they are in danger of extinction.

Humans however have the ability to adapt and even thrive in various environments, in fact we create conditions that enable us to survive in spite of the environment. We have found a way to master the sea, fly in the sky, or create an oasis in the desert. Not only are we able to conquer our external environment, we are also able to adapt out internal environment and change the attitudes that can be used to describe us.