November 17, 2004

Weakest Link

This is the post that has been swimming lazily about my brain, refusing to come out. I've decided to try and force it to the page; this is a bit experimentational here...I'm just going to write in the hopes the thoughts won't realize they've taken a trip down through my fingers on onto the keyboard.

Several weeks ago I finally finished two great books, zoological, anthropoligical texts on parenting, motherhood and women. One book, titled NATURAL PARENTING examined the different styles of parenting in the natural world, and related it to humans. The other, THE WOMAN WHO NEVER EVOLVED dealt with the issue of dominance and submission in the animal world, hierarchy and how it applies to feminism.

But that isn't my post.

The books awakened an idea in my mind about what the real difference is between the human world and the animal world. What, excepting a belief in a superior soul, sets us apart from the other creatures that inhabit this planet.

Animals use tools, animals employ languages, animals plot, and plan and can make some predictions about the future. Animals use deception and animals fight wars. Animals also seem to express love, loyalty, memory for those who they have lost, rape, kill, offer support and aide. In some many ways we are the same. But...

Animals don't alter the natural state of their worlds. They may manipulate their environment; gather sticks and cement them together for a nest, but they don't change the sticks into another product. And they don't manipulate their environment just for the hell of it; if their environment changes and they no longer need to make a nest, nest building comes to an end---their energies are invested in survival. The fittest, not necessarily the best, make it to bring forth a new generation.

Not us; we alter nature. We subdue it. We can make our nests out of items procurred from distances impossible to reach by natures endowments. Fires, while a threat can be fought, and dominated. We needn't wait for the proper times to bring forth the fruit of the earth--we force her to produce.

And the weakest can survive, grow prosper. The blind and the deaf do not have to become fodder for the wolves for the survival of us all, the awkward and the slow can join with us at the table.

We do not wait for nature to improve us, we imrpove ourselves and nature.

At our best we empower those who are weak, and bring them as close to our own level as possible, and by doing so, we improve the world as a whole. We add Stephen Hawkins and his knowledge to our lives, and Chris Burke to entertain us.

That to me is our job in the world; to subdue the earth---to improve her. To make the world more fit for humans, and humans more fit for the earth.

I don't know. Maybe this post should have stayed up there in my brain. I really am not comfortable with how she is acting. But I wanted to get her out there, to see what you all thought.

Posted by Rachel Ann at November 17, 2004 09:05 AM

Hmmmm..your post me think really hard, but I am afraid my views about the human species are not very ! I think we are cruel, the very fact that we try to alter nature, tamper with it, that we refuse to live in harmony with it, ultimately spells doom for us. Its like sitting on the branch of a tree and then cutting it off for the wood which eventually will bring us down with a thud ! We kill, for no reason, unlike animals, who kill only to feed themselves, and well within nature's system, without upsetting the delicate balance.BUT..I still hope..that the good in humans will ultimately overshadow all that is evil and thoughtless and that bodes well for both animals and humans alike doesn't it ? I hope :)

Posted by: Pincushion at November 17, 2004 09:29 AM

I agree we are often too rash; whipping nature into giving us what is better waited for. BUT, I think our purpose is to improve the world. I guess it is a matter of how we do it and why we are taking a certain road. Better methods of killing, rather sad. And there are times we do saw off the tree limb while on it as you have said.

But I think that often happens because of selfishness; we aren't changing the world to improve the world and make it a better place, but because we want something prettier. I think if we focus on the other---if our goal is to make sure the weak powerful, and to acknowledge that everyone has strengths and weakness and our purpose is to help one another...then maybe we won't be cutting lving branches off of trees, but getting rid of the ones that are infested with a tree killing disease; or even better, try to treat the disease so the limb is saved as well. I'm not sure if I'm making sense here... My point is---well, Hillel said it best; If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself what good am I? If we can keep these two things in mind while we do anything I think the world would be a better place.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at November 17, 2004 09:48 AM

Some would argue "conscience" is the difference between humans and animals. Others may say it's a "higher intellect". That animals aren't aware of certain things as we are. They don't create nuclear weapons to deter another nations threat or be aware that simply pressing that red button could create a chain reaction that could destroy the world.

I don't see us making this world better as much as us continually finding new ways of destroying it.

Interesting post!

Posted by: MrBob at November 18, 2004 03:26 AM

What's "best?"

I thought you'd get into how humans lie to themselves, deceive themselves and trick others. Humans can be so cruel, for no reason other than perverse pleasure.

Horrid thoughts.

Posted by: muse at November 18, 2004 04:55 AM
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