Living In The Moment

We’re hardwired to think of everything under the sun as how it relates to us personally before it ever occurs to us to consider how something affects us collectively.

Here are some examples:

Global Warming – I’m hot – I need to get cool. I wonder how other people stay cool.

Drought – I’m thirsty – I need a drink. I wonder what other people are drinking.

Olympic Badminton Scandal – I’m hot – I’m thirsty – I’m hungry – I wonder what the neighbors are having for dinner. I wonder if they’re watching the Olympics.

It must be natural instinct and not rational thought that insures survival of the fittest. The phrase survival of the fittest, introduced by Herbert Spencer in The Principles of Biology and its meaning extrapolated by Charles Darwin, supports the theory of evolution. Why this led to Darwinism and not Spencerism, I do not know. I do believe the meaning of the phrase, survival of the fittest, is that those most suited to their environment are best fitted to survive, and not necessarily that they are the most intellectually or physically superior. Who am I to grapple with the fore drawn conclusions of scientists?

Individually, we can do a lot of stuff, but we cannot escape the fact that no man person is an island. The poem No Man Is An Island, derived from an entire passage about how we are all connected, has been boiled down to the phrase, “…ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” Is this phrase even commonly understood to mean we’re all in this thing together?

No Man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a Promontory were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends, or of thine own were; Any Man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. ― John Donne

However I choose to define my life, there is value in considering a view-point contrary to my own. Examples of this are everywhere; music, art, movies. Two classic movies,  Trading Places and Planes, Trains and Automobiles are loaded with comic genius. In very real ways, they also say a lot about how we think about people who are different from ourselves, people from different environments. The differences cannot be ignored. They can, and must, be respected. If not, we miss out on the greatness we can create together.

I think scientist and philosophers, as well as artists, musician, actors, writers and comics share a common desire to tell the truth. We know something worth sharing, and we know that we have only a brief time to share it. Too late is too late. The movie Love Actually has this scene I think is so great.

I really love the sub-titles.

Disclaimer: I am not a scientist, philosopher or theologian. I certainly do not claim to know anything more than what my own experience, some night classes at WhatsamattaU, and many summers at smart ass camp have taught me. It is my opinion that each of us should take every opportunity to point out that the best chance for our survival is to create a more hospitable environment for peace. Oh, and this is a cool song from the movie Whip It.

 Tilly and the Wall

12 thoughts on “Living In The Moment

  1. Oh, yes, Love Actually! Lovely film, really! Btw, I really love this lines you wrote: “The differences cannot be ignored. They can, and must, be respected. If not, we miss out on the greatness we can create together.” That sums up everything about the attitude we both resonate with. Cheers! Thanks so much, Honnie!

  2. There isn’t much for me to say that hasn’t already been said, but I gotta tell you that you phrased something I think about often but was never able to articulate better than I ever could. Thank you.

  3. Love Actually is one of my all-time favorite movies. We’re all “in this” together. Maybe someday everyone will finally grasp that concept. Great post, Honie.

  4. Great post. I agree that it is important to create a “hospitbale environment for peace”. If for no less a reason than why not. What makes us think we are not connected when we feel sadness for victims of violence or tragedy and joy for anothers success and happy endings.

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