Friday, April 14, 2006

Of progress and failure

Humans are animals, or so many say. The instinct to survive and reproduce has served as a justification for many atrocious acts. Yet at the same time we tend to agree that humans are in need of each other not only to reproduce but also to grow and prosper. So, is the man an enemy or a friend to the fellow man?

The world has witnessed the rise of many great civilizations and an equal amount of destruction. At the end of the Second World War we thought that we had seen enough of disaster and signed The Universal Declaration of Human Rights to safeguard the most fundamental rights, the human rights of all people. With torture, abductions and severe disparities in education, health access and opportunities among many people, can we claim to be satisfied?

As we move into the 21st century it becomes increasingly more apparent how dependent we all are to each other. And yet we notice that cleavages (social, economic, political) also grow: we have yet to reach a level of partnership and trust among people. And yet I only wonder, is this perhaps our fate? Is our 'progress' always to be tied to our 'failure', or can we break free from this plaguing pattern?

The old advice -to genuinely learn from one's own mistakes- holds true. For one thing, if people are prone to competition we may as well decrease such factors as rhetoric or poor education that are known to bring destruction. If we manage to relocate our fundamental interests within the human society/community (rather than outside of it) then the chances that our instinct for survival will not call for conflict between people but rather for cooperation increase. Lastly, let us turn around us and simply observe: If mother nature can accomodate everyone, including those of us who damage her, why can we not? Why be so exclusive?

But of course all that is very simplistic for the highly complicated issues we face, right?

(In the photo, civilization and destruction together as they coexist in Mexico City today. The religious site of the indigenous people, the Templo Mayor, was demolished in order for the Cathedral to be built, causing significant damage to the people and culture of the city of Tenochitlán (later Ciudad de Mexico). On the far end of the photo is Plaza de Zócalo, the vibrant center of the modern city.)


padrazo said...

Ευχαριστώ που επισκέφθηκες το blog μου. Να είσαι βέβαιη ότι θα φρεσκάρω τα αγγλικά μου και θα σε διαβάζω - αν και σκέφτομαι τη λύση του systran - .Χάρηκα που σε γνώρισα.

Tall^Frog © said...

Hullo!!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment! Do drop by more often! :o)

Elpidia García said...

Tu reflexión no me parece simplista sino verdadera. La historia demuestra que es precisamente el progreso la causa de la destrucción paulatina del hombre y su entorno. Es urgente que las naciones encaminen sus esfuerzos unificados en pos de la dignidad humana a través de la solución de la pobreza, y de la preservación del planeta, la fuente de nuestra existencia. Si no lo hacen - tan ocupados como están en guerras y conflictos -, es claro que nos encaminamos al fin. Suena apocalíptico, pero es verdad.


Trav said...

i agree with lots of what you said and even bits of what you didn't say but wanted to.

Julio Suárez Anturi said...

Solo para saludarte porque soy nulo en inglés. Abrazo.

Pixie said...

What a nice article.I think that people are the only species in the planet that kill and destroy not as animals for survival but for power.I don't know if this could change maybe its too late and I don't believe that it is in our nature to be like that but the society that we live in has reinforced that behaviour.Money is above all, people being unhappy when they don't buy and they compete to obtain more and more....Greed and power

Tellurium said...

Hey! Great article! Thank you so much for your comment by the way. It`s still the only one...

Optimus said...

I had been really wondering where "the machine" is leading us. This is a term I once made up in order to give a name to the holistic plan of nature. What we have created so far, our societies, science, culture, wars, our good or evil acts upon the world, came out from our human brain which was created by nature. With these simplistic thoughts, sometimes I like to think that even our most inhuman acts can be considered natural. It's a hard thought though. But the question remains. If we are the outsprings of nature and our creations, no matter how good or bad, are the continuation of what nature started, where does this lead? Is there really a plan? Why would killing each other endlessly through history be our fate? Does it mean that nature leads into destroying it's own creations?

Perhaps I am going too far here and already out of subject :)

p.s. And well, yes greed and power are enforced in our minds, success and other social ideals too, it seems like society is a wicked construction but still it's one that came from our human brains and evolution, thus from nature originally. I do feel uncofortable with some of these social settings sometimes, so unnatural to my real self, though natural for the whole. I don't know.. ;/

ev said...

well,what can i say?you actually have a point!

nice blog!keep it up!

thanks for dropping at my blog site too!

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