I'm Starting to Figure Out How It Happened

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.

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Comment by Phyllis on July 21, 2018 at 5:59pm
Comment by alsoknownas on July 21, 2018 at 6:07pm

That's some pretty heavy thinking while driving.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on July 21, 2018 at 6:10pm

Heh.  You know my take on it....  fuck my neighbors and fuck the other bloggers...  I'm going to say what I gotta say.  They can either accept it or learn to deal with it, their choice.

BTW,  transforming"How did they let that happen?" into "How did I let that happen?" is my definition of "evolution"

Comment by moki ikom on July 21, 2018 at 6:18pm

it's pretty hard to feel fearlessness while sitting in a broken down car, having one fill up the garage or driving it around knowing its broken but having to keep driving it to motionless in a crash or puttering to a stop in a bumper to bumber exhaust fume cloud to find out just how broken it can get before it needs to be fed money one doesn't have

Comment by koshersalaami on July 21, 2018 at 6:31pm

Why would anyone lecture you about what to do, say, or especially feel (just because that one is physically impossible)? This is a really interesting take on evolution, a really observant one, and one I haven’t come across before. 

Some of the anomalies reach leadership positions. That I guess is the flip side. 

Comment by Phyllis on July 21, 2018 at 6:34pm

aka, my mind wanders when I don't have to use all of it to do something. My shower ponderings are legendary.

Amy, I wish I were as fearless as you! And that is a good definition of evolution.

moki, it is very hard to be fearless in those circumstances. Luckily my car is holding up well, I've had to replace the thermostat and a piece of the exhaust this year and those are the first repairs. ~fingers crossed that it stays easy~ 

Comment by Phyllis on July 21, 2018 at 6:38pm

kosh, you slipped in while I was typing. Why they would do it? Who knows. As to evolution, just remember that the genes who breed, survive.

Comment by Ron Powell on July 21, 2018 at 6:41pm

"I hope, if the time comes, that I will be one of these people."

The 'time' is, always has been, and always will be now.

Comment by Phyllis on July 21, 2018 at 6:47pm

Ron, I'm still dealing with that fear thing. A few years ago when Occupy was having events I went to the local one. I walked around talking to people and taking pictures but I wussed out on the march because of the cops and the cameras, I ended up at the AIDS quilt event wandering through and looking at them. A coworker went to DC for the Women's march, I gave her money. I do what i can, but so far I haven't stopped any tanks.

Comment by Phyllis on July 21, 2018 at 7:04pm


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