War proves that evolution is hodge-podge. We create master works of art, architecture, technology, and exploration, and then we destroy them along with each other.
The glitch in survival of the fittest is that mean greedy strong people – think Huns, think small pox in trading post blankets, think any dictator – lack empathy and seem to have little appreciation for the arts, education, or other people. Well, some monsters appreciate the fine arts so long as they get to own them.
Since before the sacking of Constantinople, the multiple fires of the Library of Alexandria, and the Crusades, the dynamic has been the same. People strive together to learn, create knowledge and beauty, reveal the mysteries of existence, and build new cultures. Then some ruffians come over the hill with weapons. Destroy, rebuild, destroy, rebuild. Certainly humans have resilience and persistence. We keep striving to the light.
These days, the “destroy” part of “destroy and rebuild” is on the move, literally. Displays of strength everywhere. Russian troops along the Ukraine border, Israeli fighter pilots flying low over Gaza as a reminder, Egypt judges condemning hundreds of Islamists to mass executions, as hundreds of thousands of Syrians seek refuge from violent madness.
It’s been awhile since it’s looked this bad. The world is fracturing more than usual along the usual lines of fear, greed, suspicion, denial, self-righteousness, and beliefs of having a monopoly on the One True God – and which One True God is on our side, and we, being created in One True God’s image, should rightly rule over others. “Dominion over the earth” and all that.
Well, I don’t know if Putin has One True God beyond himself. He might take up his entire world.
Ever feel like a small fuzzy mammal trying to avoid being trounced by very large reptiles? Very large reptiles that never look down? Who think only they and the other large reptiles exist?
If my evolutionary metaphor is getting out of hand, it’s the panic speaking. Remember the dodos? They never got upset, and they were wiped out. On the other hand, lemmings jump off cliffs and wild horses stampede and it’s no benefit to any of them. What to do? What to do? “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date (with peace).”
Last night I had dinner with a fellow peace worker . . . Yes, dear readers, that is my background that until now I have avoided bringing into my emerging blogger career. So, last night I had dinner with a fellow peace worker, a veteran with decades of training. I told him I was worried.
I told him that, since stepping back from the peace business, I’ve started to lose control of my professionally-imposed balance regarding cruel people and idiots. Yes, I said that. I said “cruel people” and “idiots.” I also said “blind people,” and “people who think they are liberal but aren’t.”
I told him that I had started wanting the last word, that my nonviolence was becoming tinged with the impulse to squash everyone I felt interfered with love and song and flowers and truth, and that I was on the last dregs of patience.
I also said that I felt there just might be something wrong with these impulses. He leaned back and said, “It’s part of getting older.” He told me we have earned the right to be cranky.
I said, “I can’t see a single reason why people fight each other. Not one. I just want to shake people and say ‘stop it, just stop’.”
He said, “Yes, they should just stop. Maybe in a year, maybe ten, maybe a hundred.”
And that is the flaw in evolution: not all humans can tell what is good for them. I hope the rest of us can live with that.
Creationism has it worse. Any God that nudged the pieces this way and that is a pretty sorry god.
So we’ve got evolution – and free will within the limits of what’s possible in the constraints conflict places on us.
My free will chooses to support those who create master works of beauty and exploration and answers and solutions. My free will supports the peace makers. My free will sides with those who see that it’s a miracle that we exist and who tend that miracle with grace, forgiveness, and generosity.
My free will still believes in the One True God of “love your neighbor.”