Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Open Journal: On Human Nature...and Human Beings
Human beings truly discourage me...
What is it about human nature that compels men and women to gravitate--in their thoughts, attitudes, and actions--towards the worst in one another? Many would grasp hold of the obvious answer: control. To believe that the hunger for some sense of control over one's destiny, of the power to orchestrate, even manipulate, the lives of is, however, far to convenient, as is the tendency to attribute human failings to helplessness or fear.
No, I fervently believe human beings celebrate the worst of themselves for no other reason than it is, at least at present, easier and less time-consuming than nurturing the best they might have to offer. Let's face it: if reaching and maintaining the pinnacle of personal excellence were the current societal norm, if to be found lacking in compassion, kindness, generosity, patience, integrity, and love guaranteed the instant stigma of "social taboo," how many of us would run to the local therapist, psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, or counselor confident that our lists of excuses, justifications, and qualifications would invariably be rewarded with a "Get Out of Being Human Free" card?
Sometimes, as a am taking my morning walk, contemplating the seamless continuity of the past, present, and future inherent in all existence, I find myself profoundly saddened by the juxtaposition of what we as human creatures were meant to be...and what we allow ourselves to be. Such vast potential for living and loving, for learning and gaining wisdom lies lost upon the ever growing mound of injustice and discontent comprised of the detritus of the daily acts of selfishness committed in the name of survival! Just what would it take to detoxify human nature? To cleanse it of the addiction to easy lies as opposed to hard truths, the habit of clinging to all the reasons it is acceptable to be less than we should rather than fueling ourselves to step out, to reach out, stimulated by the images of the best we each--and all--might be? And when will we stop hiding behind the delusion that the past, present, and future endure as separate--almost disconnected--entities rather than a continuity of collective and individual actuality-- circles upon circles of ever-expanding reality (building upon one another as do the rippling patterns of disturbance upon before-stilled waters), of cause and effect, of action turning onto itself to become equal and opposite reaction--which, defined by the choices we make, either limit or expand into limitlessness all that is brightest, boldest, most brilliant and most beautiful in not only human behavior...
But Human Beings?