‘Tis the season… for stupidity. In one corner we have the legions of believers who hold their beliefs to be sacred (Xmas trees battling Menorahs, etc.). In the other corner we have the atheists that solicit donations to fund the “cause” of debunking the idea that there is a God.
It is difficult for a thinking person to decide which of these two camps is the more laughable. Is it the believers, each standing on his/her little patch of sacred soil, proclaiming that only their particular belief system is valid – and all others are false? Or is it the atheists who want people to take pride in paying for bumper stickers and bus ads that boldly state “There’s probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life,” or “Millions of Americans are Good Without God.”
Meanwhile the cash register keeps playing its merry tune despite the hard financial times – even though so many of the dollars being spent will buy things that will not be valued, while millions of the really needy go hungry or without medical care.
I have a Xmas message to give. It is “Grow up people!”
I suggest that we use this season to take stock of our species future prospects.
How long do you think we can go on living our lives as we do today? We get up (too early), go to work (resenting all the other people that seem to think that their particular commute is more important than anybody else’s), spend most of our day carrying out tasks we are paid to perform (but hate), then come home (repeating the commute ordeal) – and finally get to spend some ‘quality time’ watching reality shows or sports on TV… Then it is bed (too late) to sleep to prepare for the next cycle…
That is the day of the “lucky people” – the ones with jobs. Then there are the unfortunates who are out of work, worrying where the next meal will come from.
Is that living?
For most adults today, the only really meaningful time expenditure is devoted to our children. We continue to believe that raising our children is the most important task that we will ever have. At least we‘ve got that right…
But what are we giving to our children? A future that has tribalistic groups of human beings (a.k.a. nations) competing for diminishing resources – and other tribalistic groups (a.k.a. religions) competing for our hearts, minds and wallets?
Imagine you are an extraterrestrial observer monitoring our planet and its bizarre “intelligent life”. What do you see? You see vast expenditures of resources (not the least of which is time) being spent to secure a quality of life that, for the vast majority of the people concerned, is pitiable.
Twenty thousand years ago we were hunter-gatherers. We used Stone Age tools – and yet the average “work day”, according to anthropologists was less than five hours. This was enough to provide all that was needed for the necessities of life. The rest of the day was available for life enrichment. Today we use productivity tools that make it possible for one person to achieve the production of hundreds of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. And yet our work day, including commute time, averages over ten hours a day.
If we were to focus only on providing the entire world’s human population with the necessities for a healthy well-rounded life that could give our species a noble future, we would all have work days that take up less than four hours! Instead, we choose to dance to the fiddle of consumerism, spending enormous amounts of time and critical natural resources producing things that will (deservedly) be demoted to the status of unwanted garbage by the time next Xmas comes.
Meanwhile there are people in third world countries such as the Congo, Sudan and Zimbabwe whose expected life spans are less than half of ours – because they are dying in poverty of hunger and untreated disease.
I repeat – it is time to grow up.
There is a God.
Not the “God of the tribes”. Not the God of the priesthoods that put a higher value on power and profit than sensible policies of birth control or casting out pedophiles from its ranks. Not the God that places half of the world’s population (women) in an inferior position. Not the God that shakes the silver plate for us to put money in – money that will be spent to build cathedrals that are monuments to the egos of the “faithful”. No, the God I refer to is the author of the Big Bang.
This God should really be called “x” because we have no idea what it is. This God created our universe – a universe governed by laws that made the formation of stars and planets inevitable – a universe that supplied all the ingredients for the onset of life. This God has a plan.
We, as the dominant intelligent life on our planet, are a potentially important part of God’s plan – but only if we make the effort.
Let’s use our fledgling intelligence to get to the next level – to become “future man”. It won’t be easy. We have so many bad habits to shed. But we owe it to our children to try.
Wishing you a thoughtful Xmas…