The animal that came in from the cold (My Labor Day tribute to work)

There’s a cynical misanthropic mentality seeing humanity as a curse upon the planet, and modern life as a snakepit of psychic malaise. I don’t buy it.

imagesRecently I traveled from Albany to New York and all along the way was struck not just by how humankind has thoroughly transformed the landscape, but by the stupendous amount of work it took. Whether it was the roads with all their vehicles, all the buildings and other infrastructure, the farmlands with endless rows of cultivation – how many man-hours of toil!

Unknown-2And did you ever stop to ponder how much metal we use, everywhere? And where it comes from – all the mining and milling and processing and fabrication? And don’t forget what it took for people to figure out how to do all this. Likewise all the buildings – every brick had to be manufactured, transported, cemented. Again, the colossal amount of sheer effort boggles the mind.

And what’s it all for? Quite simply, so we can live with less pain and more comfort and reward. We’re the animal that came in from the cold. Unknown-1We arrived on this planet with nothing, literally naked. Everything we’ve done, we’ve done ourselves. It wasn’t easy. To me it’s a veritable miracle.

This is Man’s fundamental nature. Believing (despite all religion) not that things are up to some God, or fate, but up to us. Not to accept, but to strive. Not to submit, but to prevail.


5 Responses to “The animal that came in from the cold (My Labor Day tribute to work)”

  1. Bumba Says:

    It is astounding to see all the work the human species has accomplished so quickly. We’re really something. But we do make a mess sometimes, in fact we nearly always make a mess. Alongside those great highways, the soot, the nuclear waste material, the rubble, the homeless, the refugees of war and persecution, the injustices. Yikes. What a species!

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs”

  3. ryan71 Says:

    To your last thoughts: Their is a reason that that “I” is at the heart of SIN. Placing our needs at the heart of everything isn’t a health thing to do.

    To the whole article: Nature (as a system) doesn’t like excess but is extremely efficient. Its had millennium to optimize its systems. If we continue to “tweak” these systems to our needs only; we can quickly find nature becoming more efficient and taking care of humans- in a hurry- to get back to a balanced system.

  4. rationaloptimist Says:

    Exactly the kind of attitude I’m talking about in the first paragraph.
    What really matters? A philosophical question. I believe the answer is that the only thing that matters, in the cosmos, is the feelings of beings capable of feeling. (I.e., mainly us.) To talk about the well-being of “nature” or the “the planet” apart from the welfare of humans is to ignore this.

  5. Bumba Says:

    Ah, but the welfare of the earth is tied intimately to the welfare of people. Actually vice versa. We are a part, a manifestation of the earth and of Creation, the Big Bang. Being concerned for something larger than one’s self is generally a good thing. And turn out the vote on Election Day!

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