Over the innumerable millenia of human existence, evolution has moulded and re-configured humanity until we became the complex and intricate species we are today.
We may not be as physically impressive as some of the big cats or primates, and we may not be as chemically potent as some of the insects and reptiles of the world, but our species is quite impressive.
The nature of mankind’s spread throughout the globe would suggest frequent and lethal combat for domination of territory. We should have been decimated by alligators along the rivers and lakes, or been eliminated by swamp diseases and buffalos in the plains. We’re slow, weak (as compared to most of the apex predators in the terrains we encountered) and shorn of any natural defences against nature’s elements.
However, we are very well suited to one of the main activities that we do carry out – self-improvement. We are constantly chopping and changing at ourselves in a bid to improve our psychological and physical assets and attain perfection. And that’s why over time, we’ve grown from being nomadic hunter-gatherers to being the mightiest intelligence in the known universe! We found the key to sentience before any known species, and that is quite a feat.
The result is that we have thrived and become the masters of our entire terrain. We are even pushing barriers to the depths of space! The key to that growth has been the strength and endurance of mankind’s reproductive systems. Very few multi-celled organisms are as resistant as us to plagues and predators. We have grown to immense numbers and become the dominant force in the planet. We have developed cultures and arts and incredible physical feats, and have even created machines far more complex than anything natural.
Unlike many other species, mankind does not simply reproduce for the sake of it. Humans become emotionally attached and dependent on each other in a way that most animals could not begin to comprehend. That could be one of the reasons that we have evolved so much – our amazingly powerful bond between one another. And we have so many examples of this in our lives; relationships friends, parents, siblings and even mere acquaintances. But surely, the most powerful bond must be that between a mother and her child. So many studies and books and academic papers have been scribed throughout history contemplating on it and researching its meaning and reason.
The fact that a human mother can be so linked to her offspring is one of the wonders of evolution, because it has created an urgent need to improve life not for oneself, but for one’s offspring, thereby continuing the existence of the species. It is a sentiment that is shared by many species in the animal kingdom, but human mothers are the very best at devising manners to save their offspring.
A duck or a chicken will gallantly try to pick at you when you touch her eggs. A dolphin will place herself in front of you as you shoot at her children. But a human mother could begin to manipulate the environment around her to protect her children.
Initially, it might have been something as simple as a rock, to scare away wolves in the night. But then, humans began to learn how to hunt, and women could defend their children more effectively in long migrations to new lands. Fast forward a few thousand years, and you have got a fully-fledged civilization capable of changing themselves and the world around them.
From something as simple as the relationship between a mother and her offspring, mankind devised a rope along which it would blindly guide itself into the bright light of sentience. The relationship between a mother and her child created a series of hormones and chemicals in your body that flush themselves out into your neurons to alert you to some dissatisfaction with your surroundings. Then, more bio-receptors in your nervous system light up and make you devise a way to change them. And by improving them, you gained something new – it was called experience. You gained the ability to identify and catalogue certain situations in order to avoid the same mistakes.
Furthermore, as mankind gained the power of coherent speech and meaningful communication, the relationship between a mother and her child was given a completely new platform to share their thoughts. Suddenly, a mother could transmit thoughts and emotions to their children, and she could suddenly give her children the experience she had gained over the years. This was an evolutionary advantage that drove mankind hurling forward in the race for sentience with every other species in the skies, the sea or anywhere on the planet.
This relationship has proved immensely influential in the directions this race has taken.
The relationship has transformed in complexity and in meaning, but it has remained one of the most crucial drivers of human existence. Maternal influence and emotions is apparent everywhere in our world – it drives migration and art, cuisine and politics!
In conclusion, one could truthfully say that maternal bonds are something that lie far deeper in the human sub-conscience than we currently know. Maybe, if we understand it once again, we might get another immense boost into the future of the paramount species in the surrounding space.