Oh you are so great and I am so small,
I tremble to think of you world at all.~
(Photo credit: – tsumi -)
Last night on my last drive home from the campus where I have worked on a history MA for six years, the moon appeared in the sky and followed me home. My analytic brain said, “This is not possible, and yet, when I pulled into the driveway, there was the moon, shining through the Hawthorn tree.
The weather forecasters around here, who follow the rising and falling tides, conditions in the Chesapeake Bay, and the rising and setting sun, tell us constellations rise and set as do planets. Millenia ago, humans became aware of these various natural phenomena and began to investigate. The curiosity of a few set off a series of events, the consequences of which we are experiencing today.
So, heavenly bodies are moving or appear to be moving, and it was their movement or apparent movement which first alerted mortals on earth to the mysteries of existence. The rest is history.
Last evening, our professor said he was depressed because according to the author we read for our last class, we seem to be in the midst of another Gilded Age today. Okay, this is the sin historians call “presentism” in which we read the present onto the past because there are some similarities between the two periods. However, history does not repeat itself. If I have learned anything in this program, I have learned that history really is one damn thing after another. Teasing out the threads of cause and effect in this long tangle is impossible. Oh sure theories abound, but what theory explains the rise of humans the greatest mystery of all?
We once believed we were one step below the angels, but science has shown there are incredible similarities between humans and animals. Living with animals, I know they experience emotions like jealousy, fear, anger, and even dare I say it, unconditional love.
We humans may have superior intelligence. I don’t know. I have seen evidence of superior stupidity and superior intelligence. True, we have developed incredible technology, but there are stil those among us who think violence is the way to accomplish things.
No matter how hard we humans try, we cannot seem to get ourselves organized. No wonder some wag invented the phrase, “Go with the Flow.” Because we cannot perfect ways of doing things and sooner or later some glitch screws us up, we might as well throw up our hands and say, I give up. Right?
I am thinking about this because yesterday, I heard Bill Ayers, the unreformed (and uninformed) 1960s terrorist talking about how the US is “finished.” I don’t believe his left-wing rhetoric, and I began to think about ”Why should I believe that?”
What does he mean by “finished?” Does this mean the US no longer has the power it had at the end of WWII when it was triumphant (along with a few other countries)? Perhaps he means the US is not the world’s only Super Power which it became after 1989? Either way, this “power” is not the thing which makes us whole.
Is power equal to might? Does the guy with the biggest stick win? Is power equal to technology? Or is there another kind of power? What do you think?