Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 203 of 365: What Built Us Up Will Tear Us Down

Society is a crazy thing.

The Ukraine has been making the news as of late. The protests that have been going on for months are finally reaching the Western world, and people are paying attention. In Latin America, Venezuela is undergoing almost the exact same transformation: a corrupt government killing its peaceful protesters. Factor all of this in with the civil war in Syria, the bloodshed in the Republic of Congo, and the increasing unrest about 15 other countries (not to mention the feeling like First World America/European Union is two cracks away from crumbling), and you can't help but wonder how much longer modern society has left.

Unfortunately, it is kind of inevitable. Every dystopian writer talks about the folly of mankind and how it eventually serves as our destruction. It is what it is: we are selfish, short-sighted, aggressive, territorial, ego-centric. We are immediately distrustful of those we deem outsiders and we're quick to hoard our resources, even if it harms us in the long run.

The funny thing is, however, that it is those very traits that gave us the modern world in the first place. The very reason we have technology and advancements in medicine and climate-controlled homes and so on is because, at the root of it all, we are all those negative things. Are ancestors first and foremost survived because they were the most brutal. As the centuries progressed, human beings started creating things because they not only wanted to survive, but they wanted to survive better than that douchebag in the other tribe. America scrambled to build and improve its space program purely because they fucking hated that Sputnik made orbit before they could ever put something in space. Business expand and evolve and thrive because we are so cutthroat competitive. We are never satisfied, always in want of more power and more resources. And, through that, we have laptops and cell phones and an absurd selection of food at the grocery store.

The very things that helped build what we have now will be the same things that eventually tear it down. It's incredibly beautiful, if you think about it.

I have a skewed sense of the world, I know, but it's a viewpoint that helps me take in all the insanity, all the pain and bloodshed and all the passive, fragile beauty, and recognize that it's all one big, multi-dimensional piece of artwork. And maybe it's easier for me to take that step back and admire the whole of Earth's story because I'm not currently ducking bullets or mourning the abduction of my son by a guerilla army. And I might be singing a completely different song if everything falls by the wayside tomorrow and I'm suddenly clawing for basic survival. But, until then, I'm going to marvel at the incredible rise and potential fall of modern society. No wonder so many novels touch upon this topic. I'm hard pressed to think of a better storyline.

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