Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Humans Are Worthless

Honestly, I believe in the sanctity of life. By that, I mean I value life and existence highly. We exist in this cosmos despite astronomical odds against us. It's almost like winning the lottery: yes, there's always a winning number, but it's never yours. Well, our little planet hit the evolutionary jackpot, and here we are. It makes our lives priceless.

Which is why humans are worthless. We've squandered this miraculous gift the universe has bestowed upon us. We've developed amazing powers of reason and deduction, allowing us to solve some of the fundamental issues of life (food, clothing, shelter) and elevate us to an advanced, civilized existence. We create art to examine our own presence in the universe. We're the only species capable of such self-reflection. Our ability to use reason and logic to deduce answers about our world has enabled us to cure disease, fly through the air, travel across oceans, and even leave the very planet that birthed us.

So, what are we doing with this awesome potential we have? Watching "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo" and refusing to just help each other out with some basic issues. We've become selfish, self-involved, and self-absorbed. We deny the irrefutable connection we all have with each other for the sake of some immediate gratification, disregarding and denying consequence all the while.

Take universal health care. What could possibly be wrong with providing everyone in the country access to proper medical treatment? It's the selfish attitude of those who oppose it: "I'm not going to pay for someone else's medicine!" Not only is this totally callous, it's not entirely accurate. You see, if universal health care is implemented, everybody pays, everybody benefits. It's a shared burden providing shared benefits. Yes, some of your money pays for other people's care, but the reverse is also true. And, it turns out that if everyone shares the burden, everyone's individual piece of that burden is much smaller than what would have been shouldered alone. In other words, "paying for someone else's medicine" actually benefits the payer. But, thanks to our selfish attitudes, we've decided it's a bad thing

People have this idea that they should be completely independent. "No one helped me get where I am; I did it all myself!" is a typical attitude. Except that statement is utterly false. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, you owe pretty much everything in your life to other people.

Look at your shirt. (I assume you're wearing one.) Did you plant the cotton, tend to the field, harvest it, de-seed it, spin it into threads, weave those threads into cloth, dye the cloth or print a pattern on it, cut out the individual pieces, sew them together, pack it, and ship it to yourself? Then you owe that shirt to all the people who performed those various tasks. Plus the people at the store who put it on the shelf and rang it up for you. "But, I'm the one who bought it and I earned the money myself." True, but there would have been no shirt to buy in the first place were it not for all those others.

Absolutely everything in your life that you did not create from complete scratch is owed to other people. Broaden that concept from personal objects and apply it to your surroundings. Roads, sidewalks, traffic lights, bridges, tunnels, phone lines, water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, power lines -- all these things were created and implemented by other people.

We are all undeniably connected in tangible ways to each other. We live our lives enjoying countless benefits of living in such an interconnected society. It is that very interconnection that allows us the time to watch TV and movies, read books, go on vacation, and write blogs about shit that pisses us off.

We could be devoting hundreds of billions of dollars to, say, curing cancer. But there's no profit in that. Instead, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars creating pretty images in movies and refusing universal health care. Our government is motivated by personal greed over all else. We have the resources to completely eliminate poverty, hunger, and homelessness. We'd rather watch worthless white trash on TV.

We blew our chance. We no longer deserve this existence. We had the choice to turn our gaze outward, toward each other; we chose to gaze inward for the sake of a buck. It's time to scrape the planet clean and let the roaches take over. At least they won't poison the air so they can drive massive SUVs.

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