We Could Be So Much Better …

A comment from our friend Larry a few days ago opened the doors to a train of thought … well, it was a train I was already on, but Larry’s comment bought me a longer ticket on that train.  His comment was in response to my post titled Remember, about International Holocaust Remembrance Day and a warning that in many ways, we humans around the globe seem to be on a path to similar destruction …

“We are the only species on earth that doesn’t fit into the scheme of things.”

For the past several days, my mind had been going in a similar, yet vague direction.  My thoughts were along the lines of how different humans are from any other species.  Notice that I said ‘different’ … not better.  Humans have shown themselves capable of many things … some beneficial, others destructive even to their own well-being.

No other species on this planet kills for pleasure, but rather they kill for food in order to survive or when they feel endangered.  No other species that I’m aware of kills because they don’t like the colour of another’s fur.  No other species is so enamoured by material gains, by luxuries and that man-made contrivance we call currency.

What really strikes me as ironic is that humans have immense capabilities … they build skyscrapers, have traveled into outer space, landed people on the moon, found cures for diseases, invented millions of electronics and gadgets to make our lives ‘easier’, and yet … they are never satisfied.  One small example … take the automatic clothes washing machine & dryer.  I well remember my grandmother using an old-fashioned ringer washer in her basement, risking the bones in her hand with every load.  Then she put them in a basket, took them outside, and hung them on the clothesline in the backyard.  This had to be done fairly early in the morning so the clothes could get dry by evening.  Then, she retrieved the dry (assuming it didn’t rain) clothes, took them in the house, and ironed them, for this was before the day of permanent press, another invention by humans.  Today, one simply tosses the clothes into the washer, then tosses them into the dryer, then folds them.  A load today takes a maximum of 10 minutes labour time in total, whereas my grandmother used to spend hours to do only 2-3 loads of laundry.  But are we any better off, really?  Are we satisfied or grateful for the modern-day convenience?  Nope.  Just like the millionaire who can never get enough, we are not satisfied and now we want a machine that will fold the clothes, too.

Medical science has devised a vaccine to save millions of lives in this era of the pandemic, yet instead of being grateful and doing our small part … and it is a very small part to go get the jab … about 30% of the people in this nation say that this life-saving vaccine is a ‘violation of their rights, their freedom.’  Since when do any one of us have the ‘right’ to take other people’s lives???  Isn’t refusal to wear a mask and refusal to get vaccinated a type of murder?  And this is the human species, the species that considers itself ‘superior’ to all others.  Humans actually believe that they were put on this earth to ‘rule’ over all other species, when in fact, humans evolved from one of those ‘other species’ and the planet was doing just fine without them.

Humans are obsessed with human-made contrivances.  I’m not talking now about such things as airplanes, cars, and washing machines, but intangibles – time, distance, money, etc.  Humans seem to feel a need to constantly measure everything.  Other species eat when they are hungry, sleep when they need to, and see no need to quantify it all.  Time … how many times in a 24-hour period do you check the time?  I am as guilty as any, checking the time periodically throughout the day, even though most days I have nowhere to be, nothing of importance to do.  Time has no meaning to other species, only to humans.  The calendar … in truth, there is no such thing as January or October … there is earth’s rotation that marks what we measure as a day, and earth revolving around the sun, that marks our term for a year.  But why?  Is it really necessary? Dark will replace light, cold will replace warm, whether we have a calendar to measure it or not.  It has always been so, even before humans evolved.

And money … money is not real.  Some would say that money is backed up by gold, but of what worth, really, is gold?  Can you eat it?  Will it keep you warm on a cold winter’s night?  Money is only as valuable as humans are convinced it is, but it’s an illusion.  The day will come when humans find out that all the money in the world will have no value and will buy them nothing.  The day will come when we will trade our labour for food and burn those hundred-dollar bills for warmth.

Humans, in all their arrogance, have appointed themselves keepers of the earth and all lifeforms residing on earth, and yet … humans are not taking care of the earth and are sentencing all species, including themselves, to extinction.  How?  By their love of gadgets … planes, buses, automobiles, heat sources that have long required the burning of fossil fuels … all of these things have contributed to the destruction of the environment. We are all guilty … we all throw away too much food, use more electricity than is absolutely essential, drive our cars for short trips when we could just as easily walk (a healthier option anyway), and extra trips that would be unnecessary if we only planned ahead a bit better. We unwittingly put our happiness at the top of the pyramid and everything else takes a backseat.

We could be so much better than we are.  We have the knowledge to solve the problems of the world, if only we would put the greater good ahead of our own desires.  If we stopped worrying about our individual ‘rights’ and started thinking about the rights of future generations to have breathable air, potable water, and edible food.  But, humans are short-sighted and I don’t see it as likely that people and nations will put aside their own desires, their fear of other, their bigotry and hatred, in order to preserve the planet for their heirs.  We can put men on the moon, yet we cannot learn to be kind.

38 thoughts on “We Could Be So Much Better …

  1. Pingback: We Could Be So Much Better … – Nelsapy

  2. Excellent post! We most certainly could be so much better, but the question is…will we? For some, I suspect that it is extremely doubtful and for others it may be highly unlikely as well. We are, each of us, guilty in our own way of not being a better human. Some are worse than others but none of us are entirely guilt-free. We like to believe that we not only talk the talk but also walk the walk…but do we really? Or are we as John C. Maxwell said : “Your talk talks and your walk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.” We CAN be better and we MUST…the only possibility for a sustainable future of the planet depends on it! WHAK!! Thank-you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, dear Ellen!!! No, I hold out very little hope that short of an immense, equalizing catastrophe, the most aggressively arrogant among us will continue to be just as they are. There may be a few converts somewhere along the line, but far too many have their noses stuck so far into the air that they cannot see what is right in front of their very eyes. I think the only thing we can do is continue trying to be better people ourselves and keep fighting the good fight. We are at or near the tipping point where the environment is concerned and once we pass it, there is no turning the clock back. All their money will not save the wealthy from the same extinction we will all face. Not much consolation, but I do take some pleasure in the thought of John C Richbitch gasping for breath and wondering why there is no food in the fridge and finding that money won’t buy him a damned thing. WHAK!!!

      Liked by 2 people

        • You are so right about that! The more that people have, the more dependent they become. I remember in 2008 when due to a storm, our electricity was out for 5 days. I never realized until then just how dependent we are on electricity! And I live a fairly simple life … imagine what it would be like for a family of wealth, used to all the amenities that money can buy, and that rely on electricity.

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  3. I have been sending these same messages out into the world for 40 years now, but almost nobody listens, and even most of those who hear ignore them anyway. People are so busy living their own lives, or, SO BUSY TELLING OTHERS HOW TO LIVE THEIR LIVES ACCORDING TO SOMEONE ELSE, that nothing ever really changes where the need for change is greatest.
    The best I can do is live my life as best I can in the best way I know how, and hope there are others out there doing their best also.
    It makes me happy to read your post, it confirms that there are others like me out there. But at the same time, it depresses me, because it SCREAMS JUST HOW FEW WE REALLY ARE!
    But I cannot leave this comment here. Stating the reality of how things presently stand is not enough. We have to keep on trying, I HAVE TO KEEP ON TRYING, to help at least one other person understand, WE ARE EVERY ONE OF US RESPONSIBLE FOR WHETHER ALL LIFE ON THIS PLANET SURVIVES! AND THRIVES!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, I know you have been trying to get this message across for much of your life, and few will listen. But, as you just said and as I’ve often said, if we can just make one person stop and think, consider that maybe we’re right, then we’ve done well. I think there are more like us than you think, my friend, but they are not as loud, as vocal, as the other kind, the ones who live for material gain, no matter how they get it.

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      • Ah, like the citizens of Ottawa who are suing the Truckers’ Convoy for destroying their livelihoods, and their lives. (Not connected, I know, I just had to throw in something about those assinine deadbeats who think they are more important than most of the Canadians who agree with the Covid mandates!)

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          • Actually, it isn’t. I think it makes a statement: This is serious. Also, businesses are having to shut down because they cannot get to their workplace,; their workers cannot get there either; and if they are in the food industry the convoyers are treating them like dirt, and swearing at them, because they want food but refuse to put on a mask. Patients at hospitals within the “zone” need sleep, but the horns are honking all night so they can get no rest, and neither can the hospital personnel who are complaining they cannot hear themselves think. University students living inside the zone have exams coming up, but the noise disturbs their concentration. And on and on. Ambulances were blocked from getting to hospitals, and were diverted elsewhere, putting other Emergency Departments on overload. And on, and on, and on… Did you hear the convoyers
            broke into a homeless shelter, assaulted a security guard, and demanded they be given the food meant for the homeless people?
            The lawsuit is not about the money, at least for most people. But there is no respect going happening.
            And the police are doing almost nothing because the convoyers are mostly white. Both First Nations peoples and people of colour have noted that when they have demontrations the police are out in force within minutes, but it was days before they showed up at the white demonstration. Another sign of systemic racialism!
            In High Level today and last Saturday sympathetic truckers and others formed miles long convoys and drove around town honking their horns non-stop for hours, including past the hospital. Our house backs on the main drag in town, and Gail suffers from constant headaches. The noise is so bad here it makes her sick. What it must be like in Ottawa is unimaginable. I have no sympathy for these people. None at all!

            Liked by 2 people

              • That’s what I say. But they vow to stay there until all the mandates are lifted, and certain provincial leaders seem to be bowing to their demands. The feds are on a different page, so far. The thing is, the silent majority do not want the mandates lifted, and no one would listen if they (we) try to lift our voices. The 20%, give or take, are controlling the 80%. Similar to how the MAGAts are controlling the Dems in your country. At least 90% of the conveyors come from conservative backgrounds. And no one is giving them a Reality Check!

                Liked by 2 people

                • It is the same here … the silent majority approve of the mask and vaccine mandates, for we cherish life, but the small, very vocal minority think only of themselves and to hell with the rest of us.

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                  • As of this moment, convoyers have blockaded the Coutts border crossing again. They are not willing to wait the 2-3 weeks for hospitalizations to ease off to normal numbers.
                    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m waiting for the Covid viruses to start attacking the convoyers, seeing as they are congregating openly outside their vehicles without masks. MAYBE, if none of them contract the virus, I’ll concede the pandemic is slowing down. But seeing as I expect it to be with us for years, well, I’m not going to hold my breath.

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  4. Pingback: WE COULD BE SO MUCH BETTER … |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  5. Your closing quote: “We can put men on the moon, yet we cannot learn to be kind.” really says a lot about how more attention to all that matters can finally change our world for the genuinely better.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Jill, good post. I love the MLK quote. Now that we have so much abundant information at our fingertips, what we lack are editors and auditors on the veracity of said information. We deem to many people as experts that do not deserve such status. It is akin to calling all good athletes “superstars” when there is a normal distribution on the talent.

    Hence, we take advice from folks that do not know much more than the reader does and often times less about a particular subject. Listening to a blogger opine on medical subjects, eg, is akin to taking a stock tip from your brother-in-law. Words of advice to all:

    – do not take the advice of any politician, as you will be more right than wrong.
    – like any marketing, the zeal of the seller is in direct proportion to his or her compensation.
    – people have put too much self-esteem on people that have not earned it or in general. The failures of those people’s actions should not affect your self-esteem, so it is OK to recognize it.
    – a leader tends to deflect credit to others and assume blame even when it is not all his or her fault.

    Our problems are hard enough without people diffusing the truth. We have a heating up planet and a decline in fresh water, the latter made even more worse by the former. Yet, we do not talk about solving it as a huge industry funds dissent to distract us. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re right … and sometimes it’s difficult to know who are the real ‘experts’. For example, Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, has tried to claim he knows more than Dr. Fauci, a virologist, about the pandemic, vaccines, etc. And sadly, some will listen to him.

      You’re so right … our problems are difficult enough without having to try to sort out those who know of what they speak vs those who don’t. Venues like Fox ‘News’ aren’t helping, but even the mainstream media outlets seem to often fall prey to the ‘false prophets’. I know only that if we aren’t very proactive on the environment, we will soon be beyond the point of no return and our grandchildren, not us, will be the ones to pay the price.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill. Paul has sacrificed his credibility a long time ago. The attack Fauci ploy is to mask the incompetent handling of the pandemic by the former president which killed the chances of a concerted response, obligating volunteer doctors, data scientists and epidemiologists to pick up the slack and combat a system without much help. Keith

        Liked by 3 people

        • Ahhhhh … that makes sense. At one point, even most Republicans were angry to see how he had kept them in the dark and cost the lives of their loved ones, but they seem to have gotten over it, largely because of such distractions.

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  7. Absolutely correct, Jill. Our restlessness, our insatiability is both a blessing and a curse. It’s what drives us to learn more, explore, improve what we have, find cures for diseases and find ways to feed an increasing population, yet it’s also what drives us to accumulate and hoard unnecessary stuff.

    And most of us would be perfectly happy with the machine that washes and dries our laundry, but the advertising industry bellows at us that we NEED a machine to also fold our clothes. That we DESERVE it. It will SAVE US TIME! Truly, if we could only be satisfied with what we have, an awful lot of our problems would instantly disappear.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey Mick! Good to see you! Yes, it is a double-edged sword … we can use our talents and skills for good or not, and these days it seems more often people are choosing greed over compassion. Or perhaps I’m just noticing it more … I don’t know which.

      Oh yes, I am perfectly happy with my machines that wash and dry the clothes, the dishes, keep food cold, and heat both water and house. Are there other things I might like? Sure, but … I have everything I need, and I’m satisfied with that. Some people, though, don’t define ‘need’, or differentiate between ‘need’ and ‘want’ in the same way that I do. You make an excellent point about the advertising industry drilling into our heads that we MUST HAVE the latest appliance, gadget, car, or whatever. And that is so that we can remain ‘in our place’, while the corporate CEOs get wealthier. It appalls me that corporate profits increased monumentally during the first year of the pandemic, while most working people lost income. Such is the way of the world, but we could change it if only we cared enough to do so. Take care, my friend!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Indeed. Far too many people say ‘need’ when what they really mean is ‘want’. Many also really cannot differentiate between the two.

        And I wouldn’t really care what they do with their lives, except that it impacts upon all the rest of us. We have finite resources and those that gobble up as much as they can merely leave nothing for everyone else.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, that’s just it … it impacts all the rest of us, even those in other nations. I wish I knew the magic words to dissipate people’s greed, to make them open their eyes and see what’s in front of them.

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    • Now David … I didn’t say we’re worthless parasites, nor did I intend to imply it! But, what I am saying is that we can definitely do a better job of both correcting our slovenly ways regarding the environment, and our humanitarian ways regarding … other humans. According to some scientists, we have already left it too late and have reached the point of no return. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

      • Asking different scientists will give us different answers. But what all scientists may agree on is that our human responsibilities are indeed an empowerment.

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