Some day, some how
I’ve noticed that most of us who write these columns regularly for the OBSERVER tend to write articles on the same subjects every time. I also am in the same habit. I’ve made a small attempt to vary my pieces from time to time, but alas, those attempts are not all that meaningful. So this may not be a new thought. It is a culmination of ideas I have noted before. I guess we are all habitual in many things including our thought processes. Please forgive me.
Every form of life on earth, except we humans, is governed, more than anything else, by their instincts and habits. Whether they are an ant or an elephant, they are on this earth to complete, or fulfill, a specific purpose. Whether moss on a rock, or a giant Sequoia tree, to each its own destiny, its own given purpose for existence, its reason for being, whether we appreciate it, understand it, or not.
There is actually no such thing as happenstance. That is simply a word we use to refer to any occurrence for which we have no explanation. A leaf in October falls to earth from its home on a limb. We say where it lands is happenstance. Where it lands is really a result of its aerodynamics, the temperature, and any mild breeze which many be a part of its descent. These things, among perhaps some I have overlooked, have been the determining factors on dictating where its loft will take it. Its fall to a given location has been directed by factors which influenced its fall. While these factors may have been a bit beyond our perception, and thus called a mere happenstance, they controlled its descent, and had a reason for being. It was not without a cause. Every effect has cause.
The human is the only living creature on earth, who is not governed almost completely by his instincts. We have the element of curiosity, and intellectual understanding, beyond any creature. This has given us the keys to the kingdom, should we ever learn to use them as intended.
We humans have a tendency to follow the lead of our parents who raise us. If they were educated they will usually see that we get an education. If they are relatively ignorant, we are not likely to get us much of a head start in our lives. Of course there are always exceptions to these tendencies. Our inaccurate understanding can give us seeming happenstance in many activities. The human is consequently often a victim of seeming happenstance.
Personally, I believe that all humans have a much greater potential for their intellectual development than most of us realize. We have seen people from very restricted beginnings become leaders in different circumstances. I believe that all humans have similar intellectual potential, just as lions act as lions or alligators act as alligators. Its just that we haven’t reached a point where we realize it, and take advantage of this fact. We’ve been too busy trying to dominate one another. We see someone who has never been taught to read, and write, and think of them as permanently ignorant.
Their time for development may have passed. Our tendency for thousands of years has been to educate, or not, for the benefit of the government (king, Czar, or Dictator, etc) rather than for the development of humanity.
The main effort of we the people has been to show our individual superiority, rather than the superiority of humanity in general. We seek to rule the world of humanity, rather than the world in itself. Until we learn to cooperate, we shall have problems with one another. To save ourselves from ourselves, we must learn to see the blessings of all. I cannot accept that we shall fail after coming this far. I’m just not sure how long it will take us to finally understand one another, and to see beyond our seeming, but unimportant differences. May God bless America.
Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to email@example.com