This morning I am left with a question, that is “What the hell is the matter with us as a species?” We are so engrossed in our own negativity and polarized opinions we can’t even celebrate the achievements we have realized. Some examples.
We have racial unrest and protests, and lately some positive steps in the right direction. The problem is, one court case or one march is not going to solve the problem. Martin Luther King knew this and his secret was, he taught us all to rejoice with each marker of progress at each milestone of our journey. We have forgotten that somehow.
There were past events that caused great turbulence in society and from the ashes of strife we built a better world. Not a perfect world but a better world. The industrial revolution is one of those events. Oh the pollution and social upheaval it caused has been a set back but it built a middle class and opened the door to today’s innovative solution to problems through science. Yes there was debate, rancor, injustice and at times transitional chaos. The other side of the cloud saw many changes. Out of that chaos we saw, social programs, labor laws, and a change in governance norms and progress in terms of justice, no not perfect but progress.
Well today we have the environmental revolution, which has caused, debate rancor, injustice and at times chaos. The end product will be change and progress. No, change will not come easy and solutions will not come overnight. In the future those sifting through the entrails of our civilization will marvel at how primitive we were. They will focus not only on our achievements but our lost opportunities and our suspicions and rebellions against science while ignoring their own set of circumstances.
The story of COVID is another case of our own short sightedness. Over a year ago we had few resources and a killer problem. We as a world community came up with life saving vaccines and a flock of naysayers, everything from basement prognosticators to religious nut cases and other fringe communities looking for exposure. Some say we should do nothing God will give us an answer. Well don’t look now, but it should be noted…God gave us science and the ability to change our condition, it is hypocritical to pray for a miracle and then deny the solution. When we look at where we were a year ago and what we know now we at least have a fighting chance in a short space of time. Yes we have all lost a year and possibly two. Compare that to those of the Great Depression. They lost ten years of opportunity followed by five years of war.
So again I ask..What’s the matter with us? We have come a long way in the last hundred years, again, no, not perfect but society and civilization is much improved thanks to science and education. One trip to the museum tells us that.