It’s a lazy afternoon at the savanna. The sun is baking, it is tremendously hot but luckily there is still a bit of water left in the waterhole. The lions are relaxing – cats of any kind and size really know how to look relaxed. They have found a slightly cooler place in the shadow of a tree. They have been eating recently and need nothing more from life right now. Life is a bliss, they feel comfortable. They are in their comfort zone.
At the same time, a flock of antilopes are nerveously trying to eat from the abundance of grass, not far away. Every second one of them is looking up and around. Antilopes really know how to look alert and I guess you’ll never see any of them relaxing like the lions do. Antilopes will never just find a shadowful place and rest. They do not have a comfort zone.
All the animals at the savannah are doing what they have always been doing. They are what they are, a photo of them now would look like a photo a hundred years ago. Or a thousand. They never change, some know how to feel comfortable, others do not.
When we humans, modern creatures who have changed a lot and still do, are trying to teach each other how to live and how to be, we usually end up with recommending each other to “get out of the comfort zone” and to change even more. We teach each others to be like the antilopes, to always be moving and always be nerveous. We teach each other to be prey.
As a social creature, it seems reasonable: afterall, when you can make all the others look nervously around to spot any danger, you can allow yourself to be away from the stress for at least a few seconds at a time – just focusing on eating the grass, nothing else; just for a short moment, but what a bliss! How great it is to feel a touch of being in your comfort zone, despite being just one of a flock of preys.
So we actually like to feel comfortable. Surprising? Hardly – we all know that we do. But why do we feel that we have to be alert all the time, that we have to be moving, never staying in one place, especially not if it was a comfortable one? Why do we not allow ourselves and each other to be more like the predators?
I could imagine that a biologist would claim that humans are not really prey – we at at the top of the food chain. We actually are predators. But behaving like pray have made us capable of adapting to new situations and survive when other species didn’t. We can live in cold places, warm places, places with or without a lot of rain. We can change. We are flexible.
So when a predator behaves like prey, when it rushes around, never finding rest, never feeling comfortable, it is flexible.
But how much flexibility is really needed? How much change do we have to do – and how much of what we impose to others is really not for the good but rather for allowing ourselves to feel comfortable for a moment? Is is possible, that if we would allow each other to find a comfort zone and spend more time there, we would become better – as a species – to enjoy life and look relaxed, to be relaxed and be happy about it? And then, from time to time, to eat an antilope…