BY MICHAEL REISIG –
I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand – Charlie Brown
Amen, Charlie. Amen…
The longer I live on this planet, the less respect I maintain for my fellow man. We live in a time where there seems to be a growing shame to the parameters of this creature, man. We can’t seem to find enough ways to cheat each other – to demean, injure, and destroy – generally in the name of some constructed deity (lest we be forced to admit it’s our own greed that drives and demeans us.) We are not only constantly at some form of war with each other, but we are shamelessly stripping the planet of everything valuable and necessary to the survival of mankind. It appears from my short time on this planet that the greatest obstacle to the human race, is the human race.
We have confused character with intellect and talent, but being clever doesn’t make us good. We have dismissed common sense and replaced it with socially correct propriety. We have crushed the joy of individualism and replaced it with the hum of the hive. I’m reminded of a quote by the spiritual teacher and writer, Anthony De Mello. It is perhaps the single most profound statement regarding our planet and in particular, our nation: These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness.” While we stumble forward in a headlong rush to the bright, technicolored tomorrow, we haven’t grown one iota as a species, in thousands and thousands of years.
We have soared to the moon, cured cancer, and shifted man into a new, mind-baffling electronic age, and yet we are still the only animal on this planet that possess the capacity for hatred and revenge, who tortures for pleasure, and who comprehends and exercises greed. We spend a great deal of time questioning and debating where man descended from, when we should be concerned with what he is descending into. For all our remarkable accomplishments, we are not growing as a species. We are cascading into chaos across the world, not because we couldn’t overcome the challenges of the planet, but because we couldn’t overcome the nature of man. Human history has been a race between education and catastrophe. Unfortunately the propensity for catastrophe is growing greater all the time. On that list of survival equipment you have, be sure to include: love for your family and friends, compassion, honesty, and faith. They may well comprise your compass in times to come.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the remarkable futurist and author George Orwell: Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not lay eggs, nor give milk. He is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits, yet he is lord of all the animals.
The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ownership and staff of The Polk County Pulse. Michael Reisig is a freelance writer and published author whose works are reproduced throughout the globe.