Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Personal Wish

Built into the fabric of humanity is a hunger for intimate association with others, a need for cooperative effort and a longing for peace. Other aspects of the human character, however, include a tendency to be distrustful of individuals outside of the accepted group, a fear of change, a belligerence and hatred of that which is feared and not understood and gravitation towards power. It is the outcome of the internal struggle between these polar influences that defines an individual existence and ultimately the character of civilization.

It is the blind striving for power and dominance that has accelerated the rise and subsequent fall of many civilizations throughout human history. Paradoxically, it is this same striving that has inspired the progressive growth of technology. The challenges of human societies in regards to the future are formidable. The great task that lies ahead, if the species is to survive on the planet rich with the diversity of life, is to find peaceful solutions to the problems that are the mainspring of conflict: problems such as accessibility to sources of energy, arable land and water, severe inequities in the distribution of wealth and cultural and religious differences. In addition to making progress in these areas, it is of the utmost consequence to take immediate action to halt the continued degradation of the natural environment and institute practices to rebuild the ecosystem made fragile by relentless human activity that has, heretofore, been oblivious of the consequences of this behavior. Without striving towards these goals and acting appropriately, the future for the species will prove to be a dismal one. Humans no longer have the luxury of time, and complacency is no longer a viable option. Lofty beliefs in the wondrous and benevolent oversight of a creator can not save us from our own blindness, nor can patriotic fervor that exceeds the bounds of reason protect us from our own collective stupidity.

I began the journey of existence at the moment of conception and was catapulted into the world of humans in the midst of a very tumultuous century. A broad spectrum of possibilities, strengths and frailties is woven into the fabric of my being. These aspects together with the external environment of my growing up and the personal choices I have made along the way have helped shape my own particular destiny. Sixty years have passed by my window. I have experienced the range of emotions that all humans understand. I have felt joy and sadness, success and disappointment, optimism and despair, peace and turmoil, fear and tranquility, happiness and depression. I have struggled with my intellect to grasp the meaning of what I feel and the nature of the physical world around me. I have come to certain conclusions, as I have already expressed, others aspects of living I can merely speculate upon and still others seem to lie firmly beyond my grasp.

It has been and continues to be a very interesting journey. I have had the privilege to have met some wonderful individuals who have helped me hone my understanding of life and my appreciation of the beautiful. Despite the frantic and almost hysterical activity of the human species, the natural world of the planet earth remains wondrously alive and dynamic. The world is replete with the wondrous diversity of life, form and color. Human civilization as exemplified by the city is not yet dead and still offers promise and new possibilities for the future. It is my wish to leave the kind of legacy that adds some small contribution to the positive evolution of the species.

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