Strewn from shore to shore, to lands uncharted in the sky, human beings have withstood thousands of years, in which we have seen plagues, momentous natural disasters, and entire empires fall. We have glimpsed into the mind of God through science and mathematics, and have single handedly affected natures deepest cores. We have produced music and art so powerful to the mind we cannot help but to shed a tear. Our emotions and thoughts are like two passion filled dancers moving majestically through time, trading secrets but always maintaining the dance. Like a cub who wanders too far from its den we slowly drift away from the rest of nature. Upon theory after theory we try in vain to discover our origins, our reason for living, and our destination when we die. We have grown so accustomed to the idea that we are people and not animals that we base entire religions on our existence. The fate of the world and the universe lies in our perceived hands. We are human beings.
In relative terms we have existed on this planet the amount of time it takes a single sperm to impregnate an egg. Yet we are the chosen people. God created man in his own image, although God of course in his wisdom would; of course God would also be a man. God created humans so that we may inhabit a small blue planet alone, conquerors of the vast darkness that is the universe. Through technology we have created faster and more efficient ways of communicating, entertaining ourselves, and living our daily lives, which consists of endless work hours dedicated to self endorsement and financial independence. All while failing to communicate as a species, engaging in what truly makes us happy, and understanding little of the grand steps we are beginning to make through the technology we are so eager to build. By building the bridge before planning the structure, we are racing arms wide open over the cliff, to look back like the Wiley Coyote realizing we have run out of land beneath our feet. We are human beings.
“Birds do not sing in caves, nor do doves cherish their innocence in dovecots.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I propose, instead of labeling ourselves as human beings may we try, however difficult it may be, “being human” or as the origin of the word suggests, being humane. If it is human nature to war then why not strive to be nature’s human, a tempered balance with great pride sitting atop all of our brethren. Are we restricted in our thoughts and our behaviors like the genius architect spider, who spins a web of such beauty and such elegance all for the simple purpose of eating that day? Or is there more to the eight-legged creature’s design, a hidden design that we cannot see? Is human civilization so proud of ourselves that we cannot look past the purpose of the elegant web, to see what is so plainly in front of us? We strive to be human, yet do we strive to be humane? We take great pride in the fact of being number one. Yet, how far have we evolved from our animal origins? Do we not feel the urge to sleep, eat, procreate, and fight? Through our lives we try to find meaning so that working for food and shelter will seem worth the struggle. We will travel to that special place we’ve entitled heaven; that is where our struggle will end? We turn to religious symbols and pray to help us on our journey, or drugs, sex, and rock and roll, whichever is easiest. We look for countless excuses to elude judgment by either blaming the media, politicians, music, or a plethora of others, yet never ourselves.
We want the best for our children because we could not achieve it so they must. We, like a mouse trapped in a psychologist’s maze, sniff every corner for the sweet cheese that is wealth, power, happiness, or success, only to stumble upon another wall. Whether the wall is your parents, insecurity, race, environment, or schooling you look past the wall, smelling scratching gnawing your way through to find that rich cheese. When you have failed you will teach your children of the cheese and let them know that it is obtainable. Yet, they will soon learn the sad truth of the wall, and thus will repeat the story of the cheese to their children. The cheese will grow in our minds until each generation has their turn at its golden pleasures. Some will climb the wall, but most will fail. It is those that continue to climb that we owe our lives to everyday.
The above was written by me when I was a heads in the cloud 20 year old working as a waiter at the Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ circa 1999. I haven’t changed much at all.