Monday, January 5, 2015

I am just one person.

The Evil of Perversity by Jean Delville
"We have exiled beauty; the Greeks took up arms for her."   Albert Camus

The evil of perversity is true, and it is truly in ways beyond measure.

In the case of love, for instance, humans are perverse.  People abandon lovers and spouses, in some crude form of the game musical chairs, not for any particular issue in the relationship, but for ennui and the lack of effort and interest.  They long for the freedom to try and find another person so that they might feel, again, the rush of a new relationship, and love and lust.  It doesn't matter the good points of the person left behind, what matters is the feelings and excitement found in the pursuit, the capture and the celebration of the conquest.

We treat nature not as our mother or provider, but as ours to exploit.  Our world's mechanical, jaded, and cynical modernity takes nature, destroys it, so that things can be used, perhaps even just once, thrown out, placed in a plastic bag, to be buried, in the earth, where it is sealed and won't decay, for hundreds of years.  We dig great holes in the earth, fill them, push the piles around, crush them with bulldozers, and finally cover that layer with lime, and start another layer.

We seem to view the world as being endless in its providence.  Humanity exists at a level of consumption that exceeds the ability of the earth to support it.  This isn't referring solely to food, but, if humans are all to eat meat as with much of the Western diet, the earth could not sustain the needs.  It has been predicted that in 20 years the oceans fisheries will collapse from over fishing. But let's say we are talking about the present, not the future.  The problem in the present isn't nearly as bad as it could be, thanks to the great strides forward in the green revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.  However nearly 28% of all food harvested, meat, grains, vegetables, fruits, and more, are lost due to spoilage and waste.  People die in numbers that are obscene, every day upon the earth, and humans have the ability to prevent much of it.  And they don't.

We have found a way to create energy that seems to be without cost... Modern humans have conquered the atom, and use the energy it generates, so that we might watch television, write on our computers, and power our lamps, washing machines, dryers, and vacuum cleaners. The great atom produces power for us, and all it leaves behind is radiated water that we place in casks of concrete.  We'll never have to worry about them again, we will just bury them at sea, or in some deep pit, next to a ground water table.  Chernobyl Nuclear plant had a grave disaster, and the land it contaminated is still poisonous.  Chernobyl was only stopped from complete destruction by the sacrifice of many people who gave their lives to fight the fires and stop the event from going further ...

And we have begun to see the cycle of wars over resources that never end.  There are wars that continue in the name of some great cause like justice or retribution for a wrong committed.  And to paraphrase A Fiddler on the Roof, "Eye for an Eye, Tooth for Tooth, leaves us all Eyeless and Toothless."  I believe in justice, and fairness, but I can't see our way through what we are doing.

Global warming and climate change are debated.  Do I believe in them?  I believe things are happening, whether from human intervention or not, they are very powerful in their destructive force.  I have no idea how we can prevent them if they are natural, and if they are caused by human hands, I think it might just be that a natural event was hastened.  Therefore, we are still in bad straits, regardless of the cause.

And now, instead of teaching our children the harsh lessons of life, to guide them in their future, we tell children that they are special, every single one of them.  But then we prevent   them from competition.  That is, we have them run in races where everyone wins, and there are no losers.  We do not tell them they are wrong, we tell them they are not quite right.  We tell them you can do anything, in a world that is growingly harder to achieve in, without skills that require a student to have abilities and talents that only come to the forefront by competition and test.  Not testing with paper and pencil, but by challenge, and life lessons and skills. 

I believe in love, kindness, and hope.  I pray for my friends, family, government and the world.  I believe in a world of people doing more than tsk tsking and complaining, but I am one person.  I am just one person.

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