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Exactly how wise are we?

By Ronnie Cameron

“So I walk up on high and I step to the edge to see my world below. And I laugh at myself while the tears roll down ‘cause it’s the world I have known.” – Collective Soul

People often ask me to debate political matters concerning our democracy, and generally, I refuse to engage because it rarely ends well.

I’m not concerned about the state of politics, either local, national, or international because it’s too polarized and quite frankly, unnecessary. Absolutely nothing any political entity can say or do will stop the inevitable unless we accept what must be done. New programs proposed by various politicians may delay the certainty of our demise, but drastic changes must be made, or we won’t stop it.

Let me repeat, absolutely nothing any political entity can say or do will stop the inevitable unless we accept what must be done.

Climate change will not doom us. We won’t give it time. Climate change is a frightening narrative, but it will take too long.

When people ask me how I view climate change, I remind them that the Great Lakes were formed when Paul Bunyan’s ox, Blue, wallowed about in the mud and created huge holes that were eventually filled with rainwater. My feelings on man’s contribution to climate change, and I’ll never waver.

In the Book of John, Jesus is visited by Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and as such, a ruler and member of Jerusalem’s elite. He visited the Christ at night because he couldn’t allow his peers to witness the meeting. The Message had touched him, but he was not ready for total commitment.

What Nicodemus, despite his formal education, could not grasp was the concept of being “born again.” In fact, he asked an intriguing question, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Nicodemus was not mocking Jesus nor being sarcastic. He was saying something to the effect of, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

We’re not sure of Nicodemus’s intentions, but Christ’s answer is emphatic: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”

In other words, new programs will not do. A teacher with more laws will not work. New people with old ideas will not suffice. What is necessary consists of a complete, total, unadulterated transformation of our culture. Apparently, Nicodemus had trouble understanding since he saw himself as fully ensconced in salvation based on human merit. Such is the folly of man today.

What I write about here has nothing to do with religion. The Nicodemus story helps explain my point.

Point is that no new stop gaps can save us. We kicked the can down the road and have managed to delay the inevitable, and for some of us, it’s been a profitable, comfortable excursion. For others, not so much. Soon enough, “not so much” will include all of us unless we commit to the necessary transformation.

Climate change is the crisis de jour. Working backwards through my life, let’s check progress on some other items: War on hate? War on terror? War on violence? War on drugs? War on Communism? War on poverty? This list isn’t all inclusive, but you get the point. How are we doing on those fronts? Not so well. In fact, it can be argued that every listed crisis is actually worse off despite our expensive efforts to eradicate them. Think about it.

Approximately 12,000 years ago, we committed to a culture that was doomed to failure the very instant we started. We learned about it in the sixth grade or so. Teachers called it, “Civilization.” And magically, by contrast, the millions of years that man existed before “Civilization” must have been primitive and uncivilized. I think my sixth-grade teacher called it, “Prehistory.” In other words, anything occurring prior to “Civilization” doesn’t even merit being part of our history, even though it worked very successfully for millions of years.

And like Nicodemus before us, we are so fully ensconced in our creature comforts and illusions of normalcy that we can’t imagine anything but that which seems to be working peachy keen right now. Only it’s not working right now, peachy keen or otherwise, and it won’t be long before hell on earth is unleashed. Soon, we must pay the toll for embarking on an untenable way of life 12,000 years ago when we became “civilized.”

I like the Eagles song, “The Last Resort.” They sing, “And you can see them there on Sunday morning, stand up and sing about what it’s like up there. They call it paradise; I don’t know why. You call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye.”

Elon Musk and company want to take us to Mars. It could be paradise. My question is, what exactly will they take to Mars? Our people? Our programs? Our problems? Our governments? The fact that we surrender 30 percent of our salaries to keep out of jail? Take those along, kiss it goodbye.

In ninth grade or thereabouts, they taught us that humans are called Homo Sapiens. They explained that “Sapien” meant “wise.” In other words, we are “wise men.”

As teenagers, we thought that was cute. Then we learned that our sub species is Homo Sapiens Sapiens. In other words, “wise, wise men.” We should blindly follow the science, but let’s at least deduct points for originality, and then add them back for irony.

As a teenager, I thought it was cute. As a 66-year-old, I detect the stench of arrogance.

I don’t suggest we go back and live the way our “primitive, uncivilized” ancestors lived. We’re civilized, after all. What I do suggest is that we better hurry and find that which lies on the other side of “Civilization.”

We won’t go back but staying here will destroy us, make no mistake. Now what?

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