Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day

Last day of vacation. Time for some serious work: thinking.


(From the World Question Center.)

That, despite all the evidence, humans are intrinsically good. At times I do despair at all the pointless, sickening evil in the world. But our society is based on very thin threads of mutual trust ("I won't bother him because he doesn't bother me") and distrust ("I won't bother him because he may have a gun"). These threads mostly stay intact because as a general rule, people have no interest in harming others, even if they don't care to help them either. Criminals as a class are a tiny minority that tend to take the limelight, while the ruck of humanity quietly goes about helping their peers in unremarkable quotidian ways, or at the very least refraining from injuring the downtrodden. Think about it: if people really were the low-end monsters they certainly seem from a steady diet of the news, no one would ask strangers for directions, or hold an elevator, or stop to help a lost child, or volunteer to teach an adult to read, or stand out on the corner begging for change, or go trick-or-treating on Halloween, or keep libraries open, or swap things online. I do, sadly, see a lot of daily selfishness and unconcern around me, but I believe --- though I cannot prove it --- that this stems from upbringing in a mostly anonymous, authoritarian society that emphasizes materialism and speed. When people overcome this upbringing and stop to consider others as fellow creatures, they generally rise to the occasion.

I also believe that Bob Dylan is the greatest musician of the twentieth century. And I could prove it, but you wouldn't listen.

Oh, and the heliocentric theory. I couldn't prove that to save my life, but I'll believe it to my dying day. E pur si muove!


Viciously ironic addendum: K texted me to say that a musician acquaintance of ours was shot and killed last night. Very sobering. I'm glad I got the chance to tell the guy how much I loved his music and how incredibly talented I thought he was. Let's all share the love, every day, okay?

1 comment:

Churlita said...

I believe in karma. I know, everyone else does too, but maybe there's a reason for that.