A pear is a pear. It cannot become more orangey. Nor, it seems, could it want to. A giraffe is a giraffe and cannot become like a zebra.
Being human is different. We have “will power,”, which is wonderful and frightening. Will: the ability to desire new possibilities. Power: the ability to DO things to achieve our desires.
‘I wish to be a parent.’
‘I want to become an excellent marksman,’
‘I like spicy food and want to eat it often.’
‘I want to grow my hair long and change the way I’ve always looked.’
‘I want a job where I work with my body.’
We have such desires and the abilities to work towards them.
Imagine a creature who could think: ‘How lucky they are, those humans! They can desire to change, to grow, to be different. And they can DO it!’
Yet these amazing human potentials can be overwhelming to live with. It is hard to figure out what we truly want, sometimes harder than it is to bring about what we want once we know what it is. It is hard even to feel our own feelings. They so easily get buried beneath expectations, roles, duties, guilt, conditioning. Our open-endedness, our expansiveness, our freedoms: they can be terrifying.