The necessity to sleep, eat and excrete always gets on my nerves. Whenever I fill up on a glass of water, I imagine myself as a car, refueling – just a machine. But I’m not a machine, I’m a man made in the image of God. Or am I an image that God had while creating the rest of the animals? Or am I an animal with such an extraordinary level of cognitive reasoning that I created God in my image?

As I walk this planet, it seems so unreal to me that individually we each think of ourselves as special, but the mosquito that we kill without a second thought, we consider inconsequential. Either, even the life of the mosquito is precious, or we humans are just as inconsequential.

Our species, homo sapiens, walked this earth as hunter gatherers, mostly gatherers, for some 60,000 years before learning agriculture and settling down. When I walk, I imagine us all as hunter gatherers lost in a world of materialism, celebrity worship, politics, demagoguery, working the day away to support our family and ourselves. For 60,000 years we spent a few hours foraging and then hung out with the homies the rest of the day. Our priorities seem to have changed.

I read an interesting passage about the one thing that has seemed to unify all of humanity, from Yuval Harari the other day:

“For thousands of years, philosophers, thinkers and prophets have besmirched money and called it the root of all evil. Be that as it may, money is also the apogee of human tolerance. Money is more open-minded than language, state laws, cultural codes, religious beliefs and social habits. Money is the only trust system created by humans that can bridge almost any cultural gap, and that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race, age or sexual orientation. Thanks to money, even people who don’t know each other and don’t trust each other can nevertheless cooperate effectively.”

It’s a sad statement about our present world, but it does put everything into perspective.

I’m trying to take myself a little less seriously, and treat the mosquitoes a little more preciously – at least saying a prayer before I kill them mercilessly.  What about you? Any gnawing thoughts just getting on your nerves lately?

8 thoughts on “As I Walk

  1. A book I read a few years ago included a story told by the author about a time he was in Africa working for a Peace Corps type organization. He was talking to a villager about how American unions had to protest and fight in the early 20th century for a 40 hour work week. The villager laughed and laughed at this idea because the idea of having to work 40 hours per week was outrageous to him. There is something to be said for the villager and his people’s concept of things versus ours. We spend far too much time working and far too little enjoying our world.

  2. Did you ever read “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn? If you haven’t, do. It is a 1992 book that meant a lot to me when I read it.

    I like the idea of taking myself less seriously and treating the mosquito better. Thanks…..

  3. We could all benefit from a little more thinking as we walk. We take pride today in “multitasking” or occupying our mind with multiple meaningless things.

  4. Wonderful, thought provoking post, Sreejit. Here’s what it brought up for me. I work hard at not killing any other living anything, well, except maybe plants. So far, I still easily murder the weeds killing my new flower garden or the bushes that are a fire hazard at our mountain retreat. I’m mostly OK with my imperfect commitment to that way of living. But I agonize over the whole action we humans call euthanasia.
    Recently, my young cat somehow got into one of my Leaf Bug terrariums and played with (tortured) two of my strangely beloved giant bugs. I found them not quite dead but definitely in critical condition. I wondered what in the world I should do, if anything! The whole “putting a living being out of its misery” concept makes my head explode. Who am I to define another’s misery???
    I have this same debate in my head (and often with others) ranging from my responsibility for animals I have domesticated to end of life decisions for humans to abortion.
    As you stated
    “Either, even the life of the mosquito is precious, or we humans are just as inconsequential.”
    Dang. I was enjoying just posting pretty photos of sunsets and flowers. Now I have to write about THIS some more. But I’ll do it on my own blog and not fill up your Comments section.
    But seriously, thanks for the push.

  5. Really. I think all the gnawing thoughts in my brain have left a hole and most everything else seeped out. And it’s still too cool here for mosquitos. There’s that. Which is about the only sane thing I have. Or not.

  6. Choice it what drives us … whether it be to walk, eat, or kill .. we do it naturally… choose, that is .. as if it were the most common of things. How we decide that choice is a conundrum based on values or lack thereof. Sometimes, we choose with intent .. to do good .. or to do harm .. but most often without thinking at all and that is where our being comes into focus .. are we making it all better or taking something away .. without purpose .. but … with purpose .. we express who we have learned to be. Hopefully, through growth and awareness, we choose to be the best of ourselves .. making the world welcoming and including all things.

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