Saturday, February 11, 2012

Change and Self-Healing

In class we have been talking a lot about changes... in technology, in governments, in art. Everything about the past centuries seems to be in a constant flux. Revolutions come and go, scientific break throughs are made, parroted, and die within a few short years. I makes me wonder about how vital change is to a society and to the world itself.

What would happen if there was no change or alteration?
I think of China and Japan, when they tried to keep their world the same and their culture unsullied by western influences. Their insistance on keeping things the same and not changing led them to be crippled economically and leave them vulnerable when western wars became world conflicts. All this because of a refusal to accept change. I think of the water in the ditch behind the house I grew up in in Florida, the water vermillion green with the algae that was killing off the little fish that lived in that ditch because there was no change in the water itself. Or maybe I think of the first commercial fishermen, who were so interested in getting a good harvest they failed to account for the changes in the population of the fish they were catching and the sardines became extinct. Sitting under a rock or a wall and not recognizing change seems to be a deadly thing.

The real world changes on "Wings of Lightening" as one poet put it. And accepting and working with the change is often the best option. The Founding fathers of the United States of America put into the constitution of the country a clause that enabled it to change with the people it governed, with a controlled rate of growth to keep the evolution from becoming too rapid, and altering the meaning of the document. You can see communities and ecosystems die and regenerate as conditions change. In the deep sea vents you can have the collapse of an entire ecosystem in a few short years only to form in a completely different place. Coral reefs that have been decimated by pollution have rejuvenated with cleaner water... as change comes the earth seems well equipped to heal herself. I wonder if we Humans understand exactly what this Earth is capable. I know that we are the ultimate predators, with the ability and resources to wipe out entire species in a few years (passenger pigeons anyone?), but the earth is more resilient that we seem to give her credit for. Mother Earth has seen more mass extinctions than we have, and that was before humans were even in the picture. Acts of God and Meterors didn't stop anything, they actually helped mammals become the dominant life form.

The same thing with societies in general. Yes there is chaos and there is always a need for control. But naysayers like Thomas Malthus said that the earth could only hold so many people because it was incapable of producing any more than current thought. We've long since over shot his proposed population cap for the earth and still growing.

Great bloody civil wars have come and gone, over 1/3 of the population at one time succumbed to a deadly plague, yet society recuperated... and life continued even better than it was before. I think that change enables society to have more opportunities to learn and grow. Perhaps we could use this opportunity to enable us to grow to our full potentials as human beings and more importantly, as Children of God.

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