It’s hardly possible these days to turn on the news without hearing of some recent catastrophe: tsunami, earthquake, volcano, tornadoes, hurricanes (are they the same thing?) rising sea-levels, floods, landslides . . . take your pick. And if it isn’t our planet turning violent upon us, it’s we humans practicing (what an awful phrase) atrocities upon each other.
But there’s nothing new in it. Violent death has always been with us as a species, since before we evolved to be that species. And it’s an aching truism that it takes a human to be inhumane. We can, of course, excuse the planet; it doesn’t really intend to harm us, it just has its moments (much like we humans). Add to all that the most effective killer known to Mankind—viruses, microbes, GERMS! Truly, it’s a wonder we humans have survived this long.
And that’s the crux of this post. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS.
There isn’t one of us alive today whose ancestors didn’t survive wars, racial eradication, various suppressions—slavery . . . plagues . . . the Black Death! . . . invasions, famines, droughts . . . the Vikings! Ha, the Romans, too! Flu’ epidemics, typhus, the Yellow Plague . . . not to mention every kind of weather the planet could throw at us. Oh, yea, and the eruption (more than once) of Hekla, in Iceland, which brought a nuclear winter (at least the northern hemisphere) even within recorded history (not to mention the really big volcanoes that scalded our species and threatened extinction before we barely could walk). I could list every known catastrophe but there isn’t the need.
Individually we suffer, and die. But as a species we’re pretty resilient. And that is something we ought to celebrate . . . while stretching out a helping hand.