What drives us? There are many frameworks that attempt to understand the motivating principles that animate us: biology, evolution, psychology, sociology, religion, philosophy. Each advances a conception of what it means to be human: flesh, machine, mind, soul, consciousness, freedom. A thousand paths to the self. A thousand tools to excavate it.
I was recently asked in an interview with Axiom News to describe what drove me in the work I did. The answer came quickly. Among other things, I want redemption. I want redemption for being born with traits I didn’t earn and which bring me privileges. I want redemption for squandering them. I want redemption for my foolishness, my pettiness, my selfishness, my offenses. I want redemption because I could be better man, but I am not. I want redemption because sometimes it is impossible to be a better man (would that I were made from Play-Doh and could be shaped into any image).
Whether I find redemption or not, there is still meaning in the search for it.