As someone who’s been making eccentric career choices off-late, and facing fair amount of resistance from loved ones, he often wonders why people expect one to follow only a ‘traditional, well-defined’ path. And as someone who has recently developed a fond interest in how human thinking has evolved over time, and has been absorbing some scholarly work on the topic, he had an epiphany.
In the early days of our species evolution – the hunter gatherer stage – people traveled in groups. Whenever there was a danger, apparent (real) or sensed (imagined), the basic instinct was to run for cover. Now, if you were part of the group, and you saw everyone around you run in one direction, you followed the herd. In case it was an imagined danger, everyone would’ve been safe and may be had a laugh about it. However, in case the danger was real, and one person stopped to think about whether she/he should follow the herd, that person would’ve suffered. In some instances, died.
As such, it may mean that evolution may not have allowed, in most part, the genes of risk-takers and/or independent thinkers to be passed. The people who avoid risk or/and people with herd mentality lived to reproduce. This may be the core reason behind the huge gap in the numbers of job-creators vs that of job-seekers, and between people who conform to social norms vs those who create their own path.