Is there a single function — some shared, practical purpose — that every human has in life and that every human has always shared?
Is there a universal trait that each human possesses, residing beyond each individual’s preferred purpose in life? If so, is this purpose one that transcends each person’s desires, to a level that could be called an “instinctively human characteristic?”
Though impossible to answer, it is a unique question to ponder.
It is a generational trait, as I have come to understand it, that the most pragmatic function of individual life is for a member of the present generation to strive to enable the following generation — in other words, one’s children — to a “greater life.” I call this notion the “Greater Life Theory.” This trait, I believe, is beyond limitations of cultural preferences and differences, and transcends to some “instinctively human” level.
But what does a “greater life” entail? It could include improved political rights, better opportunities, freedoms and luxuries, or simply the means to allow the next generation to fully pursue their happiness.
The “Greater Life Theory” is an assumed and inseparable aspect of humanity’s civilized nature: The nature of humans before civilization was to simply survive. The nature of humans in civilization is to go beyond survival — it is to thrive.
Beyond Survival: To Thrive
Humans in civilization do not live to exist with certainty of death. Rather, we strive to thrive with the greater goal of next generations’ advancement. It is because humans in civilization have this innate want of progress and advancement that each human strives to advance the rights, privileges, or opportunities of his or her offspring. This drive is derivative of humanity’s uniqueness and the human mind’s unlimited potential.
Until we prove it otherwise, every aspect of the physical world is to some degree mathematically limited. The progressive and evolutionary nature of civilization, as shown by centuries of progression, has revealed that the human mind has no measurable bounds. Imagination, creativity, ingenuity, and love are some of the limitless product of the human mind.
Because the human mind has unlimited potential, our nature is to thrive. This want is passed generationally, and by widely varying degrees of desire. “Greater Life Theory” is, I believe, perhaps the most pragmatic function of all individual life.