When Jacob Bronoski wrote the screenplay for The Ascent of Man, his thesis was that mankind itself was capable of adapting to changes, and not a victim of the natural environment as were some other life forms. The capacity for abstract reasoning and foresight; the ability to change, adapt and thrive in all manner of adversity, was in the past, and still is, in its best measure, peculiar to mankind alone. We don't have to mutate in order to survive. Civilizations came and went, but mankind evolved in its capacity to adapt. The vulnerability of the less adaptable life forces that surround us will depend upon the human capability to address the changes to come, in the interest of all.
Currently pessimism seems rampant ! The media is full of dirt and gloom . The comment boards are dominated by the haters and polemicists . The Jeremiads are in full gallop down the hill .
In our little group this week we discussed the sins of the flesh we all possess ,We spoke about how it was necessary to repress these desires in order to function in society. We took note of the selfish side of ourselves that sees the world as there for our immediate needs. What we didn't talk about was the nobility of mankind ; the love, the drive ,the intellect; the willingness of people to sacrifice to the greater common good and to put off immediate gratification for a later and greater good. I brought this up with the group but it went nowhere since we all prefer speaking of sin over goodness and lack over gift.
Surely there is a balance in mankind that has become obscured lately. If we are to survive and thrive in these seasons of change, then re-creation will need to occur with the opening, not closing, of the human spirit: we cannot hunker down, but must utilize the ever present noble side of our nature to open up and embrace the challenge of change with optimism.
In the meantime, the downfall of some of us is procrastination. Capability is never a substitute for implementation. Mankind has more at stake than his own survival.