by Macabee Callard
My paper today is about the evolution of oneself. About how an individual person can evolve, not for bare survival but so that their traits fit the surrounding environment. I know that if I ever were to ask a biological scientist this they would immediately interrupt to tell me that you need several individuals of a species to evolve and an individual person can’t. I’m talking about emotionally and socially evolving. I think that a trait of mine that has evolved, for example, is how I talk to people. I have learned that you can’t just talk about what you want and that you have to embrace other people’s ideas and think and respond to them.
Your traits that help you this way are strengthened and more obvious and potent, while your emotions and other habits that you shouldn’t have slowly disappear. There is another name for this: Becoming a better person. I was asked the question, “but how do you know what good is and is this evolution intentional?” The answer is, you observe other people and watch which traits people admire, and then mimic those traits. I think that humans have a good understanding of what is morally correct, if nothing else. I think this because after trial and error, our society has worked only with those who have these traits.
When you become more virtuous you start realizing, unconsciously or consciously, for the better or for the worse that some traits prevail more than others in your society and those traits harden, leaving behind your former and more unique self. In other words, blending in with common mold of society. I would say that this is terrible and oppressionist if it weren’t that the “mold” I am talking about just has to do with manners, respectfulness, etc. You might think that everyone knew about something if everyone learned about it. But your life choices, personality, and career are all yours to control and more. I think that some rules of etiquette are stupid or useless– for example, waiting until everyone get’s there food too eat at a restaurant before you eat. You are hungry yet you have to wait, and the other person doesn’t even mind! But still, this factor of society plays an important role in becoming a good person.