Are All Humans Insane?
I gave up on TV “news” long ago but I still try to keep up on current events through the internet–probably because of latent masochistic tendencies, I suppose. Today the headlines included, updates on the partisan political squabbling over the national debt in the U.S. Congress, the war in Afghanistan, the bombing of a government building in Olso, Norway, and violent protests in Syria. These kinds of headlines are typical and, if I was an observer from some other planet, I’d have to shake my head and wonder why people continually feel the need to kill one another and jeopardize their future over relatively petty differences of opinion about politics and religion. And they are — petty, that is — from the perspective of an objective outside observer anyway. If you were a visitor from another star, you would see one planet, and one sentient species with far more things in common than the minor differences they all seem so obsessed with. What would you conclude about humanity from news stories like these? Are humans incurably violent toward one another? Are they incapable from learning from history? Are they irrational? Insane? I know it’s a cliché to ask why people can’t just get along, but why can’t they? Why do they seem to try to invent ways to divide themselves from one another rather than focus on those things that unite them? And once they pick an ideological side, why are they so reluctant to: 1) accept that it is just their opinion, and 2) consider evidence that might prove their opinion and reality may not be perfectly in tune with one another? I may be dumb as a rock because I still don’t get it. It’s not like in the Old Westerns, where, “This town just ain’t big enough for both of us.” It is. We have a whole freaking planet! And if we could get over our apelike need to bash our neighbors heads and steal their bananas, we could have more. We could explore other planets, although I’m sure there as some who would be opposed to that too. Sometimes being human is embarrassing and if some little green man ever asks me about them, I’ll have to lie. Human? Nope, not me. I’m from some planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse. By the way, could you give me a lift?