Thursday, April 26, 2018
To everything there is an end. Step by step, we trudge towards our eventual destination. Bound by chains that drag along those who agree with this path, they move unerringly to their final end. That choice, that destination, was chosen by hubris and by force - by greed and power and lust. And sold in a neat package to keep everyone marching along. And all those that don’t agree will struggle against the forces arrayed against them, until they simply move on in their own way or succumb to the will of the leaders that wish to go in this direction. And while the chains can be broken, they can never be forgotten.
To everything there is an end. Step by step we move towards our eventual destination. Hand in hand, helping those who have a will to move in the same path over difficult terrain. Helping each other over every obstacle until we reach a resting place. That choice, that destination, remains within our power and will to change, if that is what we wish. It can be determined by hope, optimism, courage and strength. And we can invite others to join us, but we cannot force them to follow. This is a choice that must be made by the individual and cannot be commanded it can only be offered.
There’s a reason why McIlhenny doesn’t work the same as corporations that answer to shareholders. Its the same reason that SpaceX can take risks that not only baffle but anger people: because a human being guides the direction based on human ideals, whether we agree with them or not. This can be good or bad, depending on the path you feel we should take.
There are those who think we are not doing enough to take the riches we can lay our hands on. Who believe the greatness of humanity depends on what we can acquire and what level of consumption we present: that the only measure of worth is that of wealth - and wealth cannot be achieved without taking from everything and giving to yourself in some hedonistic orgy of consumerism. An objectivist ideal that would do Ayn Rand proud.
Then there are those who believe that the measure of who and what we are is tied to our actions and our willingness to take responsibility for our place in the world. That our actions in comparison to our society are what matter, and that our survival as a species depends on us standing together and helping each other. That when we see ourselves doing damage to the world we have an obligation and responsibility to step back from that and stop doing it. This is a socialist ideal, and has been lumped in with all the ills and woes of despotism and Soviet communism - which really wasn’t communism in any sense that served the majority of the people. And because of this, the absolutists out there feel that any step towards social awareness and environmental care taking is anathema to their personal happiness and wealth.
So we march forward, step by step, towards a destination that will be our end. And perhaps this end will be a new beginning. The Earth will abide, after all, even if we do not. Or perhaps this end will be a new start for us, because we will have realized our place in the world and will be better caretakers because of it. Or maybe we’ll pack up and go elsewhere, building our worlds as we go and let those who remain behind have what they will.
In all these cases, what humanity is right now will end at that place. We will either change or die off (in part or in whole) and what, if anything, remains will be alien to our current understanding. That’s okay too - change will come one way or another. And the Earth, as it has done in so many different epochs, will abide.
To everything there is an end. And to everything... there is also a beginning.