Devolution of a Species
I spent 15 minutes or so just prior to writing this piece investigating online: are there any other species besides human that war against each other?
I came across two, one of which is humanity’s closest relative, the chimpanzee, clearly still a work in progress as they also have not yet wiped themselves out. The other was ants. Needless to say, in neither of those instances are the battles ideologically based. The ants will likely outlast us all.
Why did I feel compelled to perform this exercise in satisfying my curiosity as the very first mental engagement of my day? Because I awoke with an image in my mind’s eye that had been ‘implanted’ there yesterday while I was driving from Virginia — where I had gone for groceries — to West Virginia, where I live. I was just at the outskirts of Winchester, catching up to the tail end of a line of traffic that had been stopped at a light, when I pulled up behind a serious, black, working pick-up truck.
There was nothing frivolous about this truck; it had clearly been ‘rode hard and put away wet’ on a frequent basis. In the rear widow of the cab a clean, white, horizontally-rectangular-but-not -in-a-bumper-sticker way, sheet of paper had been perfectly centered. The type — a very lovely font I might add — I could easily read. It was subtle but clearly meant to be noticed, displayed, as it was, rather dramatically.
It read: “Impeach this.”
Those words were followed by a discretely sized but easily recognizable graphic: the viewfinder of a shotgun. I pulled back a little in my seat.
As a child I recall being horrified upon learning that one of our presidents had once-upon-a-time been assassinated. I’d been even more horrified to learn of the hideous crimes against black folks that, once I took notice, I realized seemed to be happening regularly.
I grew up — again, to my horror and by then, my sorrow as well — in a world where politically/racially-based assassinations seemed to have become almost commonplace and were occurring on a somewhat regular basis. Ordinary people were now also being murdered en mass in places where they gathered to give thanks for life.
If the black pick-up truck I saw yesterday is anything to go by, I guess I can expect even more politically and racially based murder of some kind of regular basis in the very near future as it is now actually being advertised in advance.
It almost seems as if America is in a subtle but undeniable and ongoing state of civil war. Maybe somebody should say something?
All war puts all people in danger; the common person is always collateral damage… we’re just waiting now for our turns to be labelled as such. Soldiers sign up to be shot; the rest of us are just ducks being flushed out of hiding so some guy in a blind can pat himself on the back for being a crack shot as we’re picked off for no more reason than some idiot feels annoyed because we’re alive.
The children made in a world that was nurtured on the glories of war have grown up and grown old and are making more war… the children of peace have not yet been able to thrive… they have grown up in a world filled with others like them, hoping for empathy, longing for others to recognize our inter-connectedness. Technology has allowed them to consider and more widely resonate with concepts of acceptance and difference — those qualities so essential to a thriving gene pool. It has implied to them that they have permission to cross all kinds of boundaries but the old, out-dated angry ones are doing their best to close their minds by whatever means necessary.
Blatant hatred — the kind that is being regularly stoked on both sides of the political fence by the news media — represents the worst that humanity has to offer while also giving us the perfect opportunity — over time — to simply eliminate our species. Our relentless greed is currently at work killing the very earth that supports our lives, so perhaps extinction is our destiny, one way or another.
Evolution has not been our friend — but responsibility for that is on humanity which has literally fought, against its own interests, to allow and foster fear among the masses so that a few can wield power — and surely such anger-fueled and greedy beings as far too many humans seem to have been both willing to become and to tolerate do not deserve to survive… and we, as a species, if we allow that “mindset” to continue likely will not survive.
Only compassion supports ultimate survival but we, as a species have been too ignorant to notice.