He stared up over the deserted street at the cloud shrouded moon and pondered the conversation he had just stepped out of. As he did, his world slowly slipped a little out of focus.
Five people sat around one pub table in Canada, watching news footage of the London riots. They pondered what would possess such madness and as they did, things turned philosophical. Before long they were discussing where they came from, but each had a different focal point as to why they were there. How could that be?
The first pondered his heritage. What was his lineage like pre-grandparents? Were they good people? Did they toil the earth, educate the masses, rise to great power, squander their fortunes? Perhaps they worked harder than most, yet never rose above their lot in life. How far back could his lineage go, and how would that define who he had become? He was certain his future lay in the past successes and failures of his ancestors.
The second wondered what the great religious impact might be. Were we all truly created equal in the image of our creator, and if so, why were we all so different? Why did we have so many different shades of skin, and beliefs, and appearances, and perspectives? If there was one true creator, why were we not all more alike, especially with those with whom we were clearly no different on a superficial level. And yet she wondered half jokingly if we were from the same maker, then why was incest frowned upon in the church since we are all related anyway?
The third pontificated that we had all crawled from the primordial ooze. We had evolved from single cells to complex organisms. We were a product plain and simple, of the great scientific process known as evolution. And yet, he wondered how a concept based on the continued escalation and development of strength, intelligence, durability, and survival of the fittest above all else could result in a species that so often devolved into primitivism in the name of greed and power.
The fourth suggested, quite matter-of-factly, that we had been placed here by a higher intelligence from a different world. It wasn't heritage, or religion, or science that placed us here, but sentient beings from another world. She was not sure what their purpose was, but she figured we were not working out as planned and they would soon make their disappointment clear. She insisted that it made the most sense because her theory accommodated the individual beliefs of each of the others into one.
As the fifth, he politely excused himself and snuck out into the cloud shrouded night with a happy smile on his face. He enjoyed discourses such as this, not because of the conflict, but because of the underlying synergy.
As he wandered down the barren street he reflected on the words of his companions and knew that they were all correct in their beliefs. As a species, we are our heritage, we are from a greater source, we do evolve, and we are unexplainable.
That is what makes us worth such endless discussion. We are our own greatest mystery.
We keep the peace in foreign lands because we can. We torch and destroy our own neighborhoods, because we can. We misinterpret intentions and words, and offer forgiveness because we can. We excel and we fail, struggle and prosper, grow and recede, because we can.
Where we often falter is in differentiating between the reasons why we do the things we do, and what makes something worthy or not.
As he stepped up to his door and unlocked his home he realized that there was something amiss in the balance of what truly defined humanity. When a United Kingdom can tear itself apart, something was definitely amiss.
The riots bothered him more than he realized, the aimless, wanton destruction was horrifying, but the people banning together to protect, clean, and restore was inspiring.
Such is our nature, and unfortunately we often require horror as a precursor to our ability to activate out inspiration towards betterment. No matter what our familial, religious, evolutionary, or cosmic roots, we can never seem to put inspiration first, where it belongs.
All my best to my friends and family in the U.K. Be safe, we're all in this together.
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