A Thinking Man

What Men May Want to Know


By Don Wright

On a recent cross-country flight I had an epiphany. I’m sitting somewhat comfortably in a metal tube that’s being thrust through air that’s too thin for me to exist in, at an altitude of 30,000 feet, at a speed over 500 mph. What a marvel of mankind’s abilities. And all within the context of the last 100 years.

That got me to thinking about the larger picture and the epiphany was this; Given the world’s resources as they are (were) and given the length of time that we’ve had, and given our basic development and nature of us as a species –

The circumstances we now find ourselves in were inevitable.

Meaning all the wonderful and not so wonderful things that comprise our world, things that have been influenced by man, have brought us naturally to this state. Planes, trains, automobiles, nuclear power, food, climate change, you name it.

My reasoning is this. Even though all the changes we see and are facing in this time seem large, their roots extended from miniscule micro decisions and discoveries. And as those discoveries were made over time, their consequences of them either being good or bad for us or the earth weren’t necessarily known at the time. All discoveries, inventions, and ways of life that have evolved grew from the agreement that they were good and or profitable. A parallel world may have made different discoveries and choices along the way at the micro level, but the macro level results would have been similar.

Of course one could argue outcomes may have been wildly different considering, plaques, wars, meteor strikes, and on and on. But, that’s not my argument here. Given the same set of circumstances, we’re at a point of inevitability.

“Okay, big deal,” you say, “what’s all the fuss about?”

And I say, “Yes, what’s all the fuss about?” I think the take-away is this; if there is blame to be placed, it rests with all of us. If there is praise to be placed, it too, is attributable to us all. We’re all in this together.

Comedian Louis C. K. said, “We’ve got it pretty good here. Consider what you get with the basic life package. First off you get to go to Earth. That’s a pretty good deal because every planet within hundreds of light years in any direction sucks. You’d hate it!”

So, we can bitch about our soils being depleted of nutrients because of mono-cropping and commercial farming techniques. But in reality we should be thankful that now we can feed hundreds of millions. We can point fingers about rising CO2 levels, but almost everything we do, including the most Eco-conscious among us, contribute to it every single day. We can complain about this or that president, house or senate members – but they were elected as representatives. This means they’re representative of a cross-section of us. Even horrible dictators or oppressors did not get to where they were by themselves.

Of course we want to recognize mistakes and work toward improving ourselves and the planet. A no brainer.

But a realization by each of us that the state of things simply, “is” would go a long way to quieting the partisanship, bickering, finger-pointing and anger. Perhaps that’s too much to ask for. But it’s not too much for you to consider for yourself. Simply let go of how things “should be” and embrace how they are. It’s a brave person that throws the paddle out of the canoe, but that gives one the opportunity to move with the current effortlessly while enjoying the scenery. If you feel compelled to be an agent for change, go about it quietly and with purpose – you’ll find that like minds are drawn together. Be the change you wish for. Rallying cries against the state of our existence rob us of our peace and enjoyment of what is.

There is no one person responsible. There is no one person that will be the solution. But the one person that will make all the difference is you.

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