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Mind Matters: Do you like it first?



When Aldi opened a store in my hometown, Armidale, a few years ago, I wanted to be his first client. So I arrived at the store 70 minutes before the opening. I thought that other people with the same goal would appear 60 minutes before the opening time. I was right when others came an hour before opening. They saw me there with my nose practically glued to the door. When the door finally opened, I flew, went to the nearest counter, grabbed the Snickers bar and bought it. I was there – the first client of Armidale Aldi. I read a few months ago that the organization receives requests from people who want to be in the first group to go to Mars. The trip would be one-way. They will stay on Mars, stay alive as much as they can. I thought to sign up. If no one would miss me, I would leave. Would you go – to be among the first people to walk on another planet? Why do people want to be first? To climb Mount Everest. To get to the South Pole. Sail around the world solo. To walk in a month. I attach the need to my genes. My ancestors left here and there. Probably they moved from africa to northern Asia a long time ago. Some then moved to an area now part of Lebanon. They went there for the United States, and I later came to Australia. That was much further. I believe my go-go genes are still present because my ancestors moved from bad situations to the better – surviving every time they made a leap. They were fearless, durable, and happy. Maybe me too. Although I'm not going to Mars, I still want to be the first in this or that. For example, I recently watched a high-tech ride on the ground: driving a self-governing bus that drives its way to Armidale. I took a survey in the tea room and found 100% readiness to risk my life and body to be the first traveler. But I just showed up at the first station on the first day of the operation. The ride was slow, but exciting. I waved the individuals on the sidewalk as if I were the king of England. He could be the first to do something. What? John Maluf is an associate professor at the School of Behavioral, Cognitive and Social Sciences, University of New England.

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