last night p. and i went out for sushi to quietly celebrate june 18 together. (it's a special day in my life due to it being the date i officially left the life support system known as "mom" to flail about on my own.) during said dinner p. observed that when animals are going extinct, "first we hurt them, and then we help them."
i didn't quite understand so i asked him to elaborate: "well, first we hurt all the animals so that there are not that many of them and then they start to go extinct. so then people start helping them so that they don't go extinct." he then observed that this really didn't make much sense: why help them only after we hurt them? in fact, why not just avoid hurting them in the first place?
imagine the conversation in the world's capitals if such logic could be grasped by our so-called leaders:
"mister/madam president/prime minister: it just occurred to me that if we stop destroying habitats and food chains through our blind striving for greater economic gain, we wouldn't need to be swooping in and saving animals from the brink of extinction with sudden and drastic measures that often cause economic hardships for those impacted by such measures! perhaps we should actually start to think about the consequences of our actions. maybe we should actually make it cool and 'common sense' to prevent rather than to cure. you know, sort of like how those medical doctors do it."
"holy crap, mister minister of the interior, it's so obvious that it just might work. let's get creative and hard nosed about this issue and enact a plan with sustainable existence at its heart."
but yes, that's too easy and too much common sense and we're all too afraid to do what is obvious to any 7 year old who ponders the topic. perhaps knowing about things like modern economic and political structures results in the inability to apply truly meaningful fixes. we become so wrapped up in the complexities of it all, so afraid to upset the apple carts of industry and so comfortable with the status quo (my, that pork barrel is tasty!) that those at the reigns end up being increasingly useless to us.
it didn't always used to be that way, but then again it has been that way before. this is a pathos known from darker periods of human history that has risen from dormancy to infect our societies great and small, a pathos where a child is wiser and more dangerous in his thinking than those we pledge to follow. we have lost some of that human fire and imagination to recent generations being raised not as agitators and thinkers but as social automatons strapped with a dual burden of fear and materialism. but having beaten this back before, we can do so again.
if you have a child or are part of a child's life in some way, keep their minds open, their hearts beating their own rhythm and their soul willing to hold no apple cart in such reverence that common sense gets left behind to gather dust alongside their toys as they grow up. educate them about the world as it is and not only as how it is portrayed on the arrays of screens we have built around us. stick their hands in the dirt and their heads in the clouds, which is to say let them dream while teaching them how to work. then maybe, just maybe, we'll get a generation where barriers are not self-erected insurmountable obstacles of despair, but interesting puzzles to figure out, solve and even avoid in the first place.
(hope that wasn't too preachy for y'all. =)