I’m in Utah for work this week. Sometimes when I travel for work it’s nice to get away from the office just for a change of scenery. That doesn’t seem to be the case for me this week though. I wish I was home. It’s funny how just a short time of separation can make you reflect about what really matters to you. Wherever my family is, is where I’d rather be, generally speaking. This week it is actually snowing too. I’ve always loved the snow, and I still enjoy playing in it with the kids. Big snowfalls are fairly rare in western WA too, so it makes it that much difficult to be missing the snowman building with the kids.
I love my family. It’s a strange thing when you think about it (if you’re weird like me). I know there are lots of other animals that are instinctively attached to their family units, but I think you’d be hard pressed to say that any other animal knows “love” like humans do. I often enjoy watching the gorillas at Woodland Park Zoo. It’s clear to me that they have close attachments to each other, but I don’t think they have the capacity to love in the same way, a more reflective, self-aware way, like people do. I seriously doubt an ape like a chimpanzee is sitting around regretting the the lost time swinging around the jungle with his little chimps when he’s away from home.
I know evolutionary biologists will tell me this is fully the result of natural selection, and that I only love because of theoretical survival advantages. Why do I have the option to evaluate and choose my level of commitment to such things then? People are clearly able to violate what is best for themselves, their families, and society in general, and frequently do. Scores of people, mostly unhappy people, are definitely going through life following their biological instincts like a chimp, but when people use their full “self” properly they love from a deeper place than their biology. This is the way love is meant to be practiced. Not like chimps who love from the brain. People are the only ones with the God given ability to love in a beyond biological way… from the soul. If you’re not doing it this way, you’re doing it wrong. The unfortunate side effect of loving like a chimp, is that you’ll only be able to experience the results of relationships like a chimp.