The human animal thrives on social reconnection. We’ve always known that and we’ve always taken it for granted. It is the lifeblood of our society. Then three months ago, within a matter of days, we were suddenly deprived of our normal sociability by the global coronavirus lockdown.
What happened next has been an extraordinary real-time demonstration of human social resilience. Zoom and many other video platforms proliferated. Just look at some numbers: in December 2019 Zoom averaged 10 million calls a day. In March 2020 that number was over 200 million. In our determination to reconnect, technology came to the rescue.
Many millions of those calls have been purely social: virtual happy hours, family reunions, flash mobs, birthday parties – you name it and, these days, somebody is doing it virtually! We ourselves even hosted virtual ‘campfire’ get-togethers for our former Tasimba guests.
It’s in our nature
Humans come by our sociability naturally. It’s not learned – it’s how we are wired. We are a highly sociable species – and we are in very good company in nature.
Lions are highly sociable. You’ll see the pride resting under a tree or on a termite mound and one of the adult females will get up and walk over to her sister or mother to greet her by nuzzling their heads and necks. Or you’ll see others strengthening their bonds by grooming each other.
Baboons and humans have a genetic similarity of 94%. Baboon societies are built around doing many activities together from eating, travelling, playing, grooming and even sleeping together high in trees.
Or sit by a waterhole with us some afternoon and watch as a parade of elephant families arrive to drink. You’ll see different family members rubbing their bodies together, reaching out and touching others with their trunks, or even wrapping their trunks together in an endearing embrace. Think of this behavior as a human hug or handshake.
Painted dogs (African wild dogs) are another favorite of ours. Their social exuberance in greeting each other before they go out on a hunt reinforces the bonds that connect them and make them Africa’s predators with the highest hunting success rate of all. And their excitement on returning to the den where one or two adults stayed with the pups is truly heart-warming.
Sociability is deeply rooted in nature. Indeed, it has been part of humanity throughout our evolution from the wild. Remembering that being sociable isn’t a human invention requires that we perhaps be a little more humble – a word, incidentally, that is derived from the Latin humus, meaning “from the earth”.
Maybe one lesson that the cruel coronavirus has taught us is that our need to reconnect with each other is the most natural thing on earth.
The biggest lesson from Africa was that life’s joys come mostly from relationships and friendships, not from material things.” – Andrew Shue, American actor
Tasimba. Immersed in the African wilderness for 7 days.
Be Inspired. Naturally.
Contact us about our next safari. We’d love to have you join us!