An emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to action.
The word motive produces images of serial killers, rapists, a general picture of all things criminal. For criminals have motives for the bad things they do. They were abused by a mother figure, have a total disrespect for women and want them all to suffer, or have some superiority complex...or maybe they are just really broke so they rob a 7-Eleven for the quick cash, or really thirsty so they hold up a liquor store, (although they could have bought the liquor with the money they stole from the 7-Eleven).
We always hear the word motive in this context so it's no wonder when we think of someone having a motive for the things they do, it instills negative images.
But when it comes to the motives of average, law-abiding citizens, they are generally referred to as goals, personal aspirations, to obtain something of desire through ethical actions.
A friend said something to me today that got me thinking. "Every person has a motivation of some kind, something they're desperate for and wish with all their heart they could have it, yet are more than likely for the better part of their lives to not ever have it."
What drives you? What makes you want to be a better person? Where did this motivation stem from? Usually something in our pasts instill in us the desire for something different. We didn't like the way it was before and we were unable to do anything about it at the time, either because we were too young to really have a voice, or too insecure to make that voice heard. But we grow and mature and discover that there is more to life. There is a place where you can be in complete and utter peace with yourself or just with life in general. There is a place where you will feel the security or stability that you always longed for. At some point you have had a taste of what that life can be like and so you embark on this new journey to obtain that same feeling again.
What about those people that have the desire to live in a world without war or famine? A world where we love one another unconditionally, do good deeds for a complete stranger, never expect anything in return?There are those that long to make a difference but have never experienced a world without these things. Are they misguided? Setting themselves up for failure, in an attempt to achieve the impossible? Maybe they are looking for something tangible to hold on to. Whether it be words of praise, the euphoria that comes from the knowledge that you have made a positive impact on someone else's life, lending a hand when it's needed, offering a shoulder or an ear in a time of need. We lead people around us to believe we are unselfish, noble individuals that would give you the shirt off our backs. But what's in it for us?
Why do we do these things if not for ourselves? We try to live morally, be unselfish, but by everything we do, is there not some kind of payoff? Is that not selfishness in itself, although more subtle?
It's an interesting topic and very open to debate.
What's your motivation?