Friday, June 20, 2014

Animal Instinct/Human Nature

So a bear was wandering down Rockville Pike the other day, heading southbound near the Medical Center, Ursus americanus deep in the heart of MoCo.   Those in the know whisper that this is all part of a plot.  The bear(s) sighted in Howard County earlier this month were clearly a vanguard, the first wave in the sinister effort to turn Columbia into Bethesda 2.0.  More are coming from the West. The march continues.

What to make of this news?  Are these omens?  Are they replete with Meaning or is it just a wild creature traipsing about suburbia, looking for open territory and attracted by the olfactory appeal of fresh-baked Panera bread?

It is helpful to remember the different cognitive abilities and drives that distinguish humans from other animals… our unique combination of consciousness, insight, language skills, reasoning abilities and self-awareness.  It is these characteristics, among others, that have allowed us to create complex societies, featuring ever-changing arts and cultures, ever-evolving scientific advancements and ever-expanding languages that allow us to communicate with one another.

Knowing this, of course, makes our form of self-governance all the more fascinating.  To ponder the capacity of human-kind for innovation, yet witness both high-mindedness as well as the indulgence of lower, baser instincts in the pursuit of a position of Authority, one must marvel at how far we, as a species, have evolved over the past 10, 20, 50 generations….and how much farther along we could and should be.

This post is intended neither to praise nor condemn anyone.  On the assumption that it is my last, or perhaps penultimate, update between now and Primary Election Day, it is merely a brief commentary on human nature and a reflection upon the fact that humanity has been bestowed with some truly remarkable gifts.  Perhaps such talents, and the potential which exists within them, are worthy of contemplation as one considers how best to order a fair and just democratic society.  

There will be successes and failures, to be certain.  For we are, after all, only human.

Stay tuned, as more will follow.


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