Why do I want to climb Mount Everest?

It's there. Everest, roof of the world, is there, towering over us, defiant, impersonal, implacable, uncaring, intimidating and challenging. It challenges us. It makes us feel small and insignificant, and we don't like feeling small and insignificant. It doesn't care about us, and we don't like not being cared about. And, it doesn't care that we don't like not being cared about. It just sits there, daring us to conquer it.

This is the theory of human nature that, in a few words, states that we're all essentially animals, and are driven by evolution to want to pass on our genes the best we possibly can, so therefore, we basically spend the bulk of our time trying to survive, stay secure and relatively comfortable, impress our peers, attract a higher caliber of mate, and pass our genes on to the next generation. Climbing Everest in this context could be seen as a status-boosting achievement that we can either crow about or make money from in order to get a little more alpha-male or alpha-female in the pecking order of natural life.

Abdul Muheet Syed and Ngoc Quang Vu