I just finished reading The Social Animal by David Brooks. I’m fascinated by some of the sociological and psychological aspects of humans, including our ability to not remember events properly and how we can deceive ourselves (and others).
This book takes current research and creates the story of Harold and Erica. How they grew up, met, and lived, all using well written examples of what the research tells us. And he does it all in the present. So, when Harold is a kid, he’s playing xBox and when he’s an adult he’s using Facebook. It’s a unique (to me) approach.
It tends to reinforce some of the other books on similar topics I have read.
What did I take away from it? Two things.
I looked up the definition in various places and it boils down to an intense love (Urban Dictionary), usually in reference to another person.
David Brooks’ definition is different, at least in some ways. He defines it as a “yearning for harmony”. It could be harmony in our personal lives or even the drive for perfection in our work and art. It drives us intellectually and socially.
Why do people use Facebook? They desire to connect with other humans. We’re social. We seek limerance with each other. Pretty cool.
The Wise Wanderer
What do you do when dealing with uncertainties, doubts and mysteries? The “wanderer endures uncertainty”. Why does this resonate with me? If I’ve learned nothing else in this life it is that uncertainty is always with us. And to embrace it. Do I always manage that? Not even close. But I keep trying.
I like to think of this as a road trip. Do you plan each stop, each route, each attraction? Or do you just go? I prefer the just going? There’s a certain amount of research to be done, but if I had the time I’d just go right now and find something interesting to do. Where? Who knows. Just drive. And stop, when and where I wanted. It drives my wife crazy. Sometimes the stops are worthy. Other times, not so much. But I love the exploration.
There’s a lot more to the book, but if you’re into learning about human nature I’d recommend the book.