267. Failure to Thrive

We know that we are not the center of the universe, that we have a common ancestor with animals that are mostly known for their poop flinging, we know that DNA holds much of what we can achieve. Why the hell do we still stand around and fight and kill and ravage and vilify. Why are we still fighting over land written in long-ago books? Calling each other names over the internet and murdering in the name of ghosts and fictional characters? 

If there is extraterrestrial life out there, and they could see our crap show, I understand why they haven’t sent us a text. This whole time I could’ve disappointed extraterrestrial women as much as I disappointed terrestrial ones. But no, we have to be always in conflict, always pointing the finger at the other, always struggling. 

As you may know, I don’t believe in gods. I have had a passing interest about religion throughout my life, however. One religion I did a cursory dive on lately was Buddhism (thanks to my friend Roger). I really like how central to that belief system (and Hinduism) the term “Samsara” is. In my sophomoric take, it’s that cycle of suffering all humans are prone to. With an atheistic point of view, stripping it away from the rebirth portion, it’s the circuitous nature of humans. Never having enough, always changing and growing but trapped in our own patterns. Seeking meaning and escape for decades and then dying. The exit, Nirvana, is within and not without, and yet when we seek meaning someone tells us about how other people are the problem. Other people just don’t get it. When they believe something we don’t, we take offense. 

Sometimes, I believe that offense is warranted, like when some humans believe that broad swathes of other humans are rapists, or insects, or subhuman. That is a toxic belief. But do we need to fight each other because of beliefs? Is there another way? Could I live harmoniously with people who don’t think I should be in this country until they change their mind about me and others like me? That’s what it would take, and it sounds exhausting.

I’m known as a cynic, but on a large timescale (less than tectonic) I do feel that we can and will approach this level of existence. As borders stop being as important, and our communication systems grow, we will inevitably find that our neighbors are more alike to us than different. And we will begin to doubt people that tell us different. We will balance our population to our needs, and we will achieve greater things. If nothing else, we have proven to adapt over the long term. 

Maybe then we can get busy with weird and exotic sentient creatures from other planets.


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