How to Understand Survival 101
“Survival”, the ability of an object to survive, is an essential quality of life. When this is undertaken despite adverse circumstances that may kill or damage it, the concept is applicable to both living things and non-living things (or, in hypothetical terms, to all animate beings and objects). For example, survival is a factor in the survival of man. Man is not born with this quality; he must develop it through his life, and only then will it become innate. Thus, he who does not survive is perceived as inferior, lacking in the necessary qualities needed to participate in society and survive as a human being.
Survival also has to do with the strengths of the fittest, i.e., those individuals who have greater genetic potential to survive than others. Natural selection is a process by which selection favors those individuals who possess traits needed to survive and stay alive. Individuals are considered to be the fittest under a variety of differing criteria, and these vary from individual to individual. Under a biological perspective, the fittest could be those who possess the strongest muscles and body structures, or parents who are strongest in producing their offspring. Survival of the fittest is thus defined by differences between individuals who are considered to be of one species and others, who are not. It is also possible for a species to be both adapted to survive in hostile environs, and yet fail to survive, because both its members have been weakened in some way.
Natural selection, though often associated with religious doctrine, is a real presence in the world. A number of real events in nature fit this definition. Take the case of sexual reproduction. Some species have evolved in such a way that they are capable of having children independently of the parent species. But other species, like the horseshoe crab, have evolved into independent reproducing creatures when their parents are unable to produce healthy young. In both cases, the fittest becomes the survival of the fittest.
As this example illustrates, both membership in a species and reproductive capacity may be considered to be a form of survival. But there is more to survival than being able to procreate. It also involves the ability to adapt efficiently to external circumstances. Adapting in this sense means becoming more resistant or capable of surviving under various conditions. And survival may also mean the avoidance of death.
There are a number of ways to test your own survival skills. One popular activity is the survival competition, in which contestants attempt to survive a specific situation by scoring points based on their performance. This has become very popular with military personnel, who view it as a way to gauge their strength and skill against enemy soldiers. Competitors can win cash and decorations for winning, and there are even survival films, complete with actors, music and special effects, that show how to best survive in the wilderness.
Whether you’re aiming for economic or political survival, it’s important to understand both terms clearly. In the economic context, survival is about trying to improve the environment in which you live by conserving resources. In the political context, it refers to the ability to remain viable as a politically relevant entity within a nation-state. The goal of every civilization has been to eventually attain some form of long-term survival. Today, as our global community becomes a more complex and interconnected organism, those dreams will become a reality for all cultures.