Do not lecture me on what I am supposed to do or say or feel at the end of this post. This post is not about my future plans, it is about my musings on this horrible age in which we live.
One of the most enduring questions for human kind, which has been asked in many languages and in many cultures and over many millennia, is "How did they let that happen?" Most of the people who ask this question do so with the assumption that they would never be so callous or cowardly as to be the person who wouldn't speak up, and that they will be people who will be out fighting and dying for what's right. Unfortunately, history has shown that humans have a propensity to follow the crowd with the best chance of winning, so we're looking at a good chance for a lot of people to learn first hand how they let it happen.
These thoughts came to me one night when I was driving home in my old Focus which is teetering at 160,000 miles on the odometer. I was maneuvering through the streets of the small town I call home, which is not the one listed in my profile on this page, and my mind was pondering scenarios on how to survive the pending political contretemps. It stopped short when I realized it was thinking on how best to hide, to keep my head down and not draw attention to myself and attract the ire of my neighbors. I was actually appalled at myself for having that thought, but it led me to this post today. I have been thinking on it for months now, trying to figure out how to say it and not attract the ire of my fellow bloggers. While I do what needs to be done when I encounter a need, I have an ingrained dislike of having to defend myself to people who prefer to not see the nuance in what I write.
Humans have evolved to go along to get along, the upright moralists tend to get killed which effectively weeds them out of the gene pool. The people who kill them are the ones left to breed, along with the ones who manage to fall out on the winning side. Do you think women are sneaky and full of subterfuge? Thank the people who persecuted the strong leaders amongst that sex. Evolution is prompted by more than genetic mutations, and women evolved to survive the horrors perpetrated on them. You could say that that is the story of humanity, evolving to survive the horrors we perpetrate on each other.
Which brings us around to the point of this post. Today's humans are the descendants of the people who survived: the women who learned subterfuge, the men who avoided death in wars, the people who were willing to burn their neighbors alive when plague came to town. Biology demands survival for procreation, it's that simple, and we will give in to that imperative whether we are still capable of procreating or not. Fear is what helps us to survive, that gives us the adrenaline to run and to power our brain to make the decisions we need to get away from what is trying to kill us.
Thankfully we still have the anomalous people who will go out and put themselves in front of a tank, the ones who will help others to escape when they're trapped, the ones who know that putting themselves on the front line could result in death. I hope, if the time comes, that I will be one of these people. I need to get past my fear, though, in order to get there.