Fortune Cookie Friday: Humanity Paradox
Humankind has come a long way from the hunter-gatherer that branched out from primitive primates. Humans have scraped out a living on this big blue planet for about 200,000 years. Our goal was to survive, and not only have we succeeded, but we have also flourished. As of 2011, there are 7 billion people, likely the most numerous species of mammal on Earth. We barely beat out the brown rat.
We moved across the globe and created great nations. We studied the world around us and learned how to tame the wilds of nature and atoms of elements. We lived in caves, castles, and skyscrapers. We forged spears, circular saws, and cell phones. We’ve traveled on ships of the desert, sea, and space. We are top of the food chain, king of the hill, cream of the crop, but at a cost? In our struggle for human survival, we are losing the one thing that makes us great, our humanity.
Today’s fortune comes from an essay by Dr. Bob Moorehead, former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church (misattributed to George Carlin).
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…
Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.Dr. Bob Moorehead, Words Aptly Spoken
Take a moment and look around at the people we deal with daily. Are we kind and compassionate? Do we show respect to others even though we disagree? Or do we bristle at the slightest look, innocent word, or innocuous clothing? We may have evolved, but if I didn’t know any better, I would think modern people are unable to tame the wild animal inside them, hate.
The evils of our souls are percolating up, and we seem incapable of stifling them. We are on the precipice of creating fully autonomous artificial intelligence, and we can’t even control ourselves. What will it take for us as a species to turn ourselves around? Can we?
With technology and science, we live longer and more comfortable lives. The youth of today complain about the battery time of their devices. When was the last time they had to forage for food, fight to keep warm or wash their clothes by hand? We say we are the superior species, but we falter when it comes to connecting with others.
This is not connecting.
Where has our humanity gone? Why are we filled with such hate for each other? Have our lives become so easy that we are looking for a fight? We used to live in the moment because each moment mattered. We cherished time, people, and our minds because they were all fleeting. Now that we don’t struggle in life, have we lost that struggle for life?
As a child, my religious leaders taught me that God created human beings separate from animals. We are made in his image; we are special. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people believe in God or practice religion. I wonder if we will become more like those primitive animals as we lose our humanity and allow another more technological entity reign superior.
I don’t know if teaching humanities in school will be a remedy for our illness. It’s possible that with 7 billion people on this planet others will notice similar traits and try to come up with a solution for our flawed evolution. Perhaps they will suggest, like Dr. Moorehead, to love each other and cherish the time we have left. Hopefully, people will listen and learn.