Are we complicated or simple? A little bit of both.


Hi all,

Have you thought about how humans are incredibly simple and yet complicated at the same time? I sometimes think about it. I want to put out some of my thoughts on it here.

Humans are very simple in some senses. We all need the same things. Food, love, money to get by etc. In that sense, if we are fed, have family and friends and minimum amount of money, we should be good to go. Perfect life.

But no.

Everyone needs different amounts of food. We have the same body function-wise, but small differences in it leads to different food needs. We might have family and friends and the people in these groups may not satisfy us (maybe they are not giving us love in the way that will satisfy us) or we may need more people. We may have enough money to get by, but how do we define ‘getting by’? Is it the amount of money to have food for the day? Should it also cover one vacation a year? Also, how much we can get by can be different from person to person. Maybe someone lives in a more expensive city than the other. Maybe someone needs to eat more than the other. Plus, some people’s nature is just such that they need more than just get by. They need more luxury than others.

So, yes, we are also different in very nuanced ways. So, I came to believe that we all share a core but the variation on top of that core is wide. What can we do with this understanding? I think we can acknowledge our human needs so this gives us the sense of unity. Humans anywhere need the same things. But we can also acknowledge that everyone is going to be slightly different from us. That helps us appreciate our differences.

We are neither all the same nor too different.

What do you think about all of this? Let’s get the discussion going!


45 thoughts on “Are we complicated or simple? A little bit of both.

  1. I can only speak from my experience, yes I am the same in what I need to survive and thrive. Where I go astray in the importance I place on certain appetites I have and the lengths I go to satiate them. I have realized that I don’t do anything not motivated by self-interest, so I try to practice a more refined form of selfishness in serving the objectives of those I encounter when possible and also take care of only what I really need. The size of everyone else’s appetite and the lengths they will go to fill them is vastly different

  2. I agree – no two people are the same – no two voices are the same. This is a wonderful thing. Beyond that though I believe there is more that connects us as humans than divides us. I think a simple life is a happy life if you have simple expectations. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to living a happy life – We over complicate everything with impossible expectations. I tend to think if one is healthy – has a roof over their head – has companionship – isn’t worrying about their next meal – the for unhappiness is to do with the narrative about how things should be rather than the reality of their situation. We really don’t need much to be happy. We’re just conditioned to believe we always need more. Thanks for getting me thinking!

    1. These are really good thoughts! I agree that we need to learn how to be content with less, meaning what we really need rather than what we think we need. That requires getting rid of a lot of conditioning. Some work is needed there.

  3. What is food for my soul is learning and experiencing new things from the simplest recipes to exploring a new town or even State so I can pass on what I’ve learned.

  4. Everything is relative. One person’s happiness is another person’s sadness. It’s important to remember that every single one of us greets the day with a different experience; may we treat both ourselves and others with grace. 🕊

  5. You make a good point. We all share certain properties that make us human: that’s the sense in which we are all “created equal.” But we differ in many other ways, and those sometimes make it a challenge to live together happily and peacefully.

  6. You make a good point – we are the same in some respects and different in others. Ah, if only there was some kind of fundamental way to get annoyed with you and discuss it disrespectfully over a glass (or two) of wine and then have a falling out and a making up as if we were friends of a dozen or more years. Shame there’s just social media these days. Still, it’s safe, right? 🙂

  7. The problem with humans is that our brains are little changed from days of long ago. They don’t match the needs of our new reality.

    When food was scarce we fought over resources to ensure we had enough to survive. Today we have more than enough resources for everyone to survive quite well but we still fight over them.

    When humans were new upon the scene, the males who fathered the most – and the mothers who successfully raised the most – left the most descendants. That isn’t useful today for a host of reasons but that drive to reproduce as much as possible persists.

    It remains to be seen if our massive higher brain has the capacity to reign in our primitive lower brain.

  8. Thank you. We are all different at many levels. When we recognize and purposely align with unifying principles, like wisdom, clarity, justice, harmony, unity, peace, creativity, wholeness, & love we see our “oneness” and act for the preservation of our diversity.

  9. Great post. I believe that we need to look inside an individual and try to find common ground even with those who are “complicated”. I think we are going to find that more people are looking for the common links. Most of us simply need to learn to listen, really listen to each other. Thanks for stopping by Poemattic.

  10. For me there are many things relatable between all humans. But the rub occurs because we are constantly changing. Our moods, emotions, and concepts can change in minutes. We are never as complete or permanent as our personal stories tell. Since we are all subject to so many influences, internally and externally, we see ourselves as complex. But only complex in terms of constantly evolving positions cognitively and emotionally. This is something I love about being human, that constant movement into our next future. Thanks for this post. Much to contemplate.

    1. That is a very good point! Yes, being human means changing and we are always transitioning from one state of being to the next, hopefully a better one. I love that about us too.

  11. We are all different. This is a beautiful blessing. It does, however, make knowing exactly what we need a challenge because we can’t simply look at what someone else is doing and follow along. Communicating well and accepting we don’t have the answers is important. As is sharing the things in our metaphorical toolbox.

    Thank you for these wise words. 😊

    1. Thank you for commenting! Yes, we can’t just follow someone else as is, though we can take them as examples. That requires a good understanding of who we are so we can apply what is best for us rather than what someone else does.

  12. No one is completely complicated or simple. It depends upon how you see the world. One may see a person as complicated and other as simple. That person should learn to handle both type of people.

  13. Absolutely Betul. This is where the need to complement one another comes to play. Accepting the reality that we all have the good,the bad,and the ugly sides makes us a whole individual. xoxo

  14. We are neither all the same nor too different.

    I like this sentence. I think we mostly have the same needs but we place different value on different things and this is probably determined by the way we were socialised and the experiences we have witnessed. Thank you for a great article.

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