We consider ourselves reasoning beings. Who are rational and capable of making dispassionate decisions, based on the facts at hand. At times we may even act against our own interests. Because our minds are sophisticated enough to reference many possibilities at once. Therefore we may allow a temporary setback to getting one want; to permit gains toward other needs or desires. Or make allies with like-minded people to reach the same goals.
Our survival and growth depends on having enough resources and managing them well. Or finding some way to make up for the shortfall. Our society has learned to do this; although not equitably. But we have the foresight and the discipline to achieve long term goals. Along with the ability to modify either ourselves or the environment we are in, as needed. Thus we have an informed (though incomplete) insight into what it takes to live here.
We cultivate new kinds of plants; for food or industrial purposes. We employ advanced economic systems; to run our world and move resources around the planet. Plus we develop abstract mathematical concepts to study the nature of reality. Part of this is pure curiosity. But beyond that, it helps us improve the quality of our lives. As well as improving our chances of living. And we do it all by conscious design; on our own schedule. Thus we set ourselves above the animal kingdom.
While it’s true we have these abilities, there is always the question of how they will be used. We have a mixed record on who benefits from the decisions our societies make. Yet societies go on because they are often successful. Our society has become so successful we see our accomplishments as a matter of a right. Or our just due. We are so sure of our control over future events that we strive to calculate our growth on a quarterly basis. Since we’re that confident we will be around when the quarter ends, to see a benefit.
Humanities’ uncounted victories have spoiled us as a species. Many of us are so used to having our way; we think it is normal for us to win all of the time. More than that, many of us feel it is our birthright to have our way and always win. And if we don’t get that, we are somehow being cheated. Expectations like that breed a sense of entitlement. As well as impatience and irritation at any delay or barrier. For we usually know how to correct most snags. We even have work crews and subroutines to troubleshoot them.
After we grow used to getting what we want, when and how we want it; any sudden change can be threatening. Once we are “conditioned” to having our expectations met, on demand; we may be unwilling or unable to adjust to a change. And we may choose to resist the change with all we have. But our long history on Earth teaches us that sometimes we are the ones who must change. For there are still many forces on our world which are beyond our control.
We are still here because people made successful decisions in the past. Sometimes those decisions required they escape. To flee the danger of fire; or the devastation of contaminated water. Sometimes they chose to stay and fight. To stand against predators taking live-stock. Or birds and other beasts raiding their crops. At other times however, the proper choice was to stand fast and wait. To remain patient and outlast the difficulty. Such as persevering through long, difficult winters; or riding out intense tropical storms.
It appears that we face such a situation now. The impediment we face, we cannot control. It requires our bodies to enjoy Its’ life-cycle. And It doesn’t care have many of us die as long as It lives. In order to defeat It we must deny It people to feed on. That means taking away opportunities for It to spread Itself. But the virus is also fighting for survival. It is employing all of its abilities to ensnare more people; and evolve to attack them more thoroughly.
Therefore once again human beings are being stalked by a ravenous predator. But this one lives inside of us; so we carry It around with us, while It tries to kill us. It uses us to gain access to more people; in the effort to feast upon us all. It is grave to know that there are people in our society, who don’t mind being a tool for the virus. Though It seeks to kill them and everyone they know. As fighting It will require some marginal effort and discomfort on their part; that inconveniences them in a way they’re not used to.
The virus has no arms, legs, or wings. It cannot travel from person to person without assistance. It must be patient, for It has no choice. On the other hand, we have an arsenal of choices. We can make battling It a priority and vow not to let It hitchhike in our bodies. As It searches out easy prey to kill. We can choose to address the effects of the disease and bet the virus runs Its course. Hoping, as some suggest, that It will just “go away”. Or we can choose to do nothing and remain at Its mercy. And pray It doesn’t mutate further.
If we are more patient than the disease, and treat the virus like It is a plague; we may well see the end of It. But if the virus has more patience than we do; then It may well see the end of us. Which would also mean the end of our long winning streak. I hope everyone can agree we don’t want that to happen.
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J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc