Friday, February 25, 2005

Since I have been focusing my thoughts on the trivial this week, then I might as well end the week with the trivial as well. In that spirit, did you know that more than 99.9% of all the animal species that have ever lived on earth were extinct before the coming of humans? Of all the animal life that is already teeming on this planet, it only represents .1% of the total amount! Amazing, don't you think?

The one humorous, but somewhat true, fact about the great state of North Dakota (where I live) is this: If you don't like the weather here, stick around. It'll change in five minutes. I suppose that can easily be said about this planet and our existence. If you don't like what you see, stick around. It'll change in the next 20 years. And with the introduction of humankind and technology on this planet, it seems that this change is occur at an ever-increasing rate...

Change. It remains a constant in all of life forms. Metamorphosis, transformation, mutation, hybridization - call it what you want, it simply remains change. And it is the one aspect of our life of which we try so desperately to grab a choke hold and control... without much success. We try to ignore it, avoid it, stifle it, decorate it, anesthetize it, surgically remove it and lobotomize it... but it continues on... change.

One of the seemingly understandable principles of change is this: the transformation of any living life form is in response to its environment, attempting to continually increase its probability and quality of survival. We as a race face the same principle. You and I, as individuals, also experience the same principle in the singular compartment of our life. We grow from children into adult, always assimilating more and more experiences and information. We gather data, we analyze, we catalogue, we learn. It's our own body's and mind's way of addressing this principle; attempting to continually increase our probability and quality of survival. And yet, so many of us fear the continual change and transformation that occurs. We ignore our 20s, we hide from our 30s, we deny our 40s... while the world around us continues to change.

It's okay to get older. It's okay to love your neighbor. It's okay to care about your children, your friends, the stranger in need, and your country. Did I mention that it's okay to get older? It's okay to want a better quality of life than what you presently have. It's okay to worry about our environment and about nations of people living on the other side of this planet. It's okay to not want to fight or murder or maim or insult or gossip or envy... but obviously, somewhere in our collective response to our environment, we're still not understanding our ability to increase our collective probability and quality of life.

If we ever hope to remain part of that .1% on this planet, my friend, we as a collective life form need to wake up and not only adapt to the environment before us, but also the environment we have created and continue to create. An environment that is often times filled with such hate, anger, jealousy, murder, war, greed and contempt. An environment that seems to simply feed on itself until there is nothing left to feed on... and is eventually discarded as an ancient and archaic civilization.

 
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