We humans are amazing creatures.
We’ve risen from the ranks of a soft, disorganized primate sub-species, without the strength, agility, or fiercer characteristics of the other beasts with whom we share this planet.
We’ve tamed other animals, as well as one another. We’ve built homes and weapons and methods of transportation. We’ve put ourselves into outer space and created ways to contain lightening. We use light waves to send information across the planet. We send that light through clear plastic, fiber optic cable that we made from thick, black oil that we pulled from the ground.
We use that expanding network of light waves & volition to write songs with partners that are thousands of miles away, learn more about one another, and store the largest library humanity has ever known…and give you access to that library through an aluminum & silicone portal in your pocket.
We’ve built machines that we use to fly faster & higher than the birds. We have ships that allow us to go deeper and faster than most fish. We’ve created elaborate social systems that allow 323 million people to collectively choose our U.S. national leader.
We’re incredible creatures.
Accidents that used to result in death are now barely a blip in our day, thanks to astounding advances in medical technology. Diseases that once wiped out entire cities are now cured with a pin-prick and a magic elixir held in sterile, medically sealed flasks…that we invented.
We’re amazing. We’re awesome.
…And we could do better.
I mean, consider the fact that we are the only animals that produce waste. Let that sink in.
Every other animal on this planet produces fertilizer, kills and eats plants and animals, and seeks out or creates shelter. Other animals form social systems. Other animals create cohesion and comfort. But no other animal makes trash. No other animal has a landfill. No other animal amplifies greenhouse gases. No other animal fills waterways with toxic sludge. No other animal creates waste that takes thousands of years to break down.
We tear down mountains to get a little more gold to be richer than the next kingdom over.
We destroy other cultures to build factories to create products that destroy us from the inside.
We take advantage of the trust others place in us in order to turn a profit. We lie, cheat, steal, kill and manipulate. We sow seeds of hate and violence and apathy and anger and through it all we sound the battle cry of “progress.”
We destroy the things we’ve loved for hundreds of years to build things we’ll like for a little while.
We can do better than that.
We’ve worked on finding solutions to our very human problems for a long time now. We’ve turned to science, religion, education, and law. We’ve created codes and protocols to govern our actions and keep us in line…and we keep getting out of line. We don’t follow our own rules. We don’t respect our established boundaries. We cheat, even still, when cheating carries heavy fines & consequences. We do what we want, no matter what.
Sure, certain laws give us pause. Some rules we follow by rote obedience…for a little while. So we create new laws that restrict the freedoms of people just a little more…for our own good. And we’re left with cash out of pocket and brothers & sisters locked up for crossing imaginary lines in the sand in search of something more fulfilling. Or entertaining. Or sustaining. Or something.
Of course, some of us follow the rules a little too well. Some of us do what we’re told to the point of being caged. Imprisoned by shoulds & shouldn’ts. Locked in a box of right & wrong, miserably listening to what we’re told, believing in the rewards of gold and life after life. Many find happiness in submission & surrender, and gladly give their attention & allegiance to someone louder & more certain.
We buy bigger houses and bigger cars and remain blissfully ignorant of the negative effects of our actions, while silently seething inside, aware of something better but not sure how to get there.
No matter what side you fall on, that of the rebel who does what he wants or the compliant keeper of the peace who does what he’s told, you know there’s something more to this life. There’s more possible. There’s more fulfillment and purpose somewhere in the mix, and you want it. You know you can do better.
If we’re going to solve these very serious problems of human behavior and our planetary consequences, we’re going to have to get serious about this. We’re going to have to do something radical & drastically different. We need to take a new approach that shakes our systemic conditioning down to the foundations.
We’re going to have to play more.
Or rather, we’re going to have to play differently.
We have to start collaborating, rather than competing in every arena.
We have to lift one another up, rather than knocking one another down.
We’ve got to work together, play together, live as if we actually live together and share a planet.
We’ve got to play nice…it’s the only way to truly become badass. And we can do it. After all, humans are amazing creatures.