The Art of Living

I love ringing in a new year.  It represents new hope and a chance to look at our lives with new vision.  I think about what it means to be human today.  We are changing and adapting to an environment of our own making.  Will we survive it? Dunno. Looking at ourselves as a species is an extraordinary exercise:

We are the dominant and controlling species on the planet.  How did we do it? We are not the biggest or toughest. I would not even say we were the smartest.  Ants are better survivors.  Ants know what is good for them.

Insight Panels

Insight Panels by Marsha Mogowski

We humans started out well.  I think our ability to cooperate in order to survive helped our growth and sustainability.   Trade began thousands of years ago.  This strengthened and unified us.   It made us safer, allowed us to build protective structures, eat healthier foods, clothe and protect our weak bodies from the elements.  Still, some traded better than others, acquired more.  Aggression, protection, dominance, greed describes some of our early behavior.  As the population increased, trading necessarily was replaced with the monetary systems.  Time passes.  Now, it’s all about the money.  Financial exchange has taken on a life of its own.  Everyone needs it to survive in society.  I especially do not like the lesson some learned from WWII:  War creates jobs and prosperity.  I would much rather live in a society where peace, learning and exploration were the goals.

However, this is what we are.  We are human.  We are aggressive creatures.  We have taken some turns that are just plain ugly.  We have built wonderful communication infrastructures that help connect us, present face time and exposure to most everyone – good or bad.  It is exactly what I am doing right now.  (And later, I will feel stupid for doing it.  That’s ok, too.) 

Hope for a great new year.  The artwork,  “Insight Panels” by Marsha Mogowski, was chosen for the title and content.  They are extraordinary works to see live – great for contemplation.  This is what is good about being human!

One thought on “The Art of Living

  1. Hi, Debra! Thanks SO MUCH for expressing your insights! Yes, I get in those moments when I see the doubtful consequences of aggressive competition.
    And, I also see the paradoxical energy of quietude and restraint in myself and other more passive qualities people have. And, as a little girl, I learned that, even though I put forth ALL of my energies, I could never win because I was the littlest. So, I chose to stop trying. It still gets in my way from pressing into doing my all-out best. One of what I call those “Lifetime Dilemmas!”

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