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The Importance Of Human Values In Human Life

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Humans have a tendency to indulge in luxuries, standing in mile-long lines outside retail stores in search for bigger and better devices despite already possessing everything necessary to live. This facet that historically defines our species is traced back in author Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which details the evolution of Homo Sapiens from being an ordinary link within the food chain to a dominating influence on the Earth’s ecosystem. Harari explores the patterns in history that have evolved our mental and physical state, asserting that this evolutionary past follows one of history’s few iron laws: “luxuries tend to become necessities and...spawn new obligations” (Harari 78 - 79). In other words, inessential yet desirable items can eventually become ordinary with prolonged exposure, leading to a dependency on such items and an obligation to sustain its presence in human life. By understanding how these tendencies evolved within history, we can learn to distinguish between our needs and desires in order to avoid becoming hostage to the luxuries that entice us.
Within the book, Harari applies his law to the start of the Agricultural Revolution, where luxuries of wheat and sugar emerged and ultimately transformed into essential commodities. When wheat was initially introduced, it was only a marginal part of the human diet due to its limited abundance. Yet as soon as humans realized that areas of wheat gathered many other game and food sources,
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