Archive for September 24th, 2021

Thin Ice

GC Myers-The Nightwatchers  2019

Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.

― Werner Herzog

Humanity always had a fragile existence on this planet. Our time here has been comprised almost solely of efforts to sustain our existence, to maintain our health and safety from the dangers that surround us at every turn. There was always peril to our existence as we tried to find ways to feed and warm our people, to evade the diseases and predators that stalked us.

Without constant vigilance and mighty efforts in our distant past, we might well not be here today.

As Herzog says, we have always dwelt on a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness. And because of this constant presence of death and danger, where we could practically feel the thinness of the ice flexing beneath our feet, we were always aware of how fragile our existence was.

We understood how close we were to plunging into the darkness.

But for a short time in our existence, we lost sight of that awareness. We began to believe that we were safe and secure, that we were the supreme beings on this or any other planet. It took less and less personal effort for most of us to maintain our existence.

Food or water came easily and without thought for most.

Diseases that had plagued us for eons were effectively dismissed so that they no longer weighed heavily on our minds.

We no longer worried much about other predators as we effectively became the most dangerous predator on the planet.

We flew through the air, communicated instantly around the globe, explored the four corners of the planet, discovered some of the secrets of the atom and went into space. We felt invincible.

Yet all through that time, we still moved across that same layer of ice. We may have thought it had thickened, had become more secure through our innovation, but it was as thin and fragile as it was for our ancestors from centuries ago.

In fact, it may have become even more perilous because we no longer are aware of this fact and have seemingly lost the ability to put forth the effort needed to save ourselves. It’s on full display these days in the destructive actions of the anti-vaccine, anti-mask, covid denying, anti-science, anti-education, climate change denying, conspiracy embracing crowds.

They act as though we are are somehow entitled to a secure existence on this planet without any effort at all on their part.

I am here to tell you that these selfish nutjobs, or any of us for that matter, are not entitled to a future on this spinning rock. I don’t care what god or deity or belief system you embrace. Nothing here is guaranteed for any of us.

We still exist on that same thin layer of ice that has long kept us from the deep plunge into darkness. And these nihilistic nuts continue to build a bonfire on it.

I write this today just to put it into some sort of order for my own mind and to ask you to simply be aware, to recognize our responsibility in maintaining our existence atop that layer of ice. We are required to make some sort of effort to save ourselves and getting a vaccine or wearing a mask to protect yourself, your loved ones, or your neighbors doesn’t seem like too much to ask of anyone.

In the bigger scheme of things, it’s the least we can do.

See you tomorrow– if the ice holds.

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