Hubs that Provoke is a non-fiction philosophical collection written by Roy T. James. In this work, James offers a selection of his Hub Pages that deal with a wide-ranging variety of subjects and offering unconventional opinions. His opening essay explores libido and gender, and further Hubs discuss religion and contrast the material and the spiritual worlds.
Some of his more provocative essays examine terrorism and extremism, and in them he attempts to find the roots of each in other, more mundane and acceptable aspects of thought and culture. James briefly covers GMO crops, chemical fertilizers and organic farming, and offers his own take on the uses and benefits of each. He also presents an historical view of global warming and considers how differing philosophies may see the phenomena as something to adapt to rather than to attempt to curtail.
In the author's concluding essay, he deals with intolerance afresh, citing its possible roots and causes, and offering avenues towards solutions.
What makes us do, what we do?
How is it that, while one person is ready to sacrifice his own life for a stranger, another show no qualms in murdering a dear one? What makes us do, what we do?
A survey of available literature points to six fundamental needs that everyone has in common, and all behavior can be simply abstracted as an attempt to meet those six needs. The needs can be identified as, Certainty, the assurance that one can avoid pain and gain pleasure, Uncertainty/Variety, the need one perpetually has for the unknown, change, or new stimuli, Significance, the necessity to feel unique, important, special or needed, Connection/Love, the pleasure of strong feelings of closeness or union with someone or something, Growth, the happiness from the expansion of capacity, capability or understanding, and finally, Contribution, the fulfillment one feels from service, helping, giving and supporting.
Fulfillment can only be achieved by focusing on two spiritual needs, all sagacious words and writings exhort. One such is the need to continuously grow, and two, the need to contribute beyond ourselves in a meaningful way. Like any other living being, humans also have a long list of natural needs and meeting these satisfyingly, is the primary function of life. Therefore we humans have the need to be part of a lot of activities of varying style, content, endurance and strength, each of them meeting a part of ones needs and desires.
But the above discussion does not answer the most pertinent question in this regard. Why is that unlike other forms of life, we humans go after one or a few among their wants at the cost of sacrificing many other needs and conveniences, some of which, even to their peril? What are we striving for? What makes us do, how we do?
We, I think, have been maintaining this as one of the most difficult questions of life. There is no historical figure who did not attempt to answer this, a quick glance into our collection of classics of yesteryears and those of recent times shall easily show. Also, there is no one who did not become a historical entity despite pontificating on this question, a further look at the collection can reveal. It seems this is a question of very serious proportions.
The answer to this question is easily obtained as far as a small baby or child is concerned. Whatever the child does, it shall be to please some of its wants, food or physical comfort or to be freed from discomfort, as can be observed easily. It is only when the child grows up to be a man or a woman does this answer would seem inadequate. Assuming that we continue to grow as rational beings and act in a manner appropriate for maximizing our level of contentment, we should be at a loss to explain many of the things that grown-ups do, things, capable of causing great harm to their own life. As grown ups, we display a leaning towards potentially dangerous activities as well as taking even ordinary and enjoyable things to its extremes.