Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Do We War?

              Don’t get me wrong, I’m not speaking out against any particular war.  I’ve read my share of history and I can list any number of legitimate reasons for cultures to engage in war throughout time.  My question simply asks why it seems to be an inherent trait in humans and shared by species on other planets.  It’s easier for me to think of war in the abstract since I’ve recently observed it on other planets.   
Perhaps war is simply about survival, religion, economics, and/or greed.  I tend to think it represents a more basic instinct in humans (and others).  In many ways war seems to be just a football game on a grander scale without the death.
Does it have something to do with a need for the destruction of a city/culture/civilization/spirit to force a rebirth and revitalization of these to grow into something greater?  There are numerous examples of destroyed civilizations that were reborn to become stronger than ever or simply better than before in some fashion.
Do we need competition, a natural rival in our lives?  They exist everywhere.  Who can’t name their biggest high school rival?  When’s the last time someone from Minnesota said something nice about a Cheesehead?  How many people watch the Olympics hoping to see the US earn more medals than the Chinese and Russians?  Rivalries seem to come so naturally at every level.
Could it be that even societies have a need to feel superior to someone?  Everyone within a culture feels so much pride after kicking somebody else’s butt.
Maybe it has something to do with the need for distractions from the everyday problems that exist within each culture.  Problems are easy to forget when the dirty, rotten, blank de blanks are attacking.
Or maybe it has something to do with one of a million other possible reasons.  Something to think about.
~ Clark

Monday, January 16, 2012

Normal Life?

How am I supposed to live a normal life now?  It seems like most people have such busy daily routines that they have to focus wholly on their lives and little else.  Have you ever met someone at a social event only to realize that you see this person almost every day, you simply hadn’t noticed because they weren’t a part of your life?  Or how about the conference topic you had no knowledge of but discover is brought up almost daily in the news?  You hadn’t been paying attention until it was presented to you.  Well, now the entire universe has been presented to me. 
            I get to meet new species.  Let me say that again.  I get to meet new species.  Plural.  I get to visit planets that I can’t even find in the night sky.  I get to witness three moons in the twilight sky of an incomparable land that I couldn’t dream up with my best use of imagination.  How can normal life exist now?  Not only do I know that there is an entire universe out there, I’m exploring it.  How can I focus on inane numbers on a computer screen and cleaning house or going to the store when all I can think about are the millions of questions that come to me?  How can I sit still in the office when anxiety shakes my very foundation at the thought of going on another adventure after work?   

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sentient Rocks

                I visited an interesting world the other day.  I spent quite a bit of time there searching for any signs of life.  I was just about to give up when I noticed some odd things.  The sand moved around but it wasn’t random, as a result of the wind.  It seemed more like it moved with purpose.  Then I noticed that some of the rocks were moving around as well.  I didn’t report this to David Englund for his book because I don’t quite know what to make of it or what exactly to report. 
                I tried using my translator to communicate with the rocks but nothing happened.  They didn’t react to my presence in any way, not even to avoid running into me.  For a bit of time, I sat on a boulder and took a ride.  Again, they didn’t seem to notice I was there but I suspect they were alive with thoughts of their own.  I don’t know what to make of this.  Can geographic forms be sentient?  Really?  There’s a portal there so there has to be something that was intelligent enough to open it.  Was there some other type of life form there originally?  Did they die off or did the rocks kill them off or is this what constitutes for life on that planet?
                This might sound like it was a boring trip to you, but it got me thinking.  From the time we’re children we see pictures of aliens and examples of them in so many movies.  But who really knows what extraterrestrials look like (besides the feds)?   There might be a million planets out there with intelligent life.  Who says that an alien life form has to have a head or even a body at all?  Back to my earlier question, could geographic forms be sentient?  How about gases (my dad might know a little about that)?  There might even be forms that we’ve never seen that could be sentient.    
                So many questions.  All I know is that I still have a lot to learn but I’ll keep giving you updates on what I find.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year

                I love each new year and what it brings.  I love the promise of things to come, the chance to start over, and the opportunity to correct mistakes.  And yet, I can’t help but get sentimental about losing another year to age.  What did I accomplish last year?  Why wasn’t it as much as I had planned?  Heck, where did it go?  It was 2011, the year that was going to change my life.  Then I blinked and it was Valentine’s Day.  I blinked again and it was Easter.  Spring came and then summer.  Oh, I love summer.  Then Labor Day approached and it reminded me that I hadn’t been to the lake or to as many baseball games as I had planned.  Then it was Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then I’m right back here thinking about how great 2011, er, 2012 is going to be.
                Why does it go by so fast?  Is it because there are so many things that we have to do each day?  Is it the vast number of goals I have set for myself, some of which go unaccomplished that keep me so occupied that time just flies?  Maybe it’s simple math.  When we’re children 365 days is a huge percentage of our life.  A year takes forever.  Now it’s just one of many so it seems to take so little time to go by.  Or does time just work that way?  It is what it is?
                I seem to always become a bit melancholy at this time of the year.  I’m not quite sure if it’s that I can’t help but think about how we’re all fragile, finite beings with a limited lifespan or if I just wish I could get that year back.  Another year is gone.  How long will the next one last?  The next five?  The next ten? 
I like these moments of reflection and introspection.  They humble me.  They energize me and make me realize that I have to be a better man, a better person, a better explorer, runner, accountant, friend, son, a better everything.  And I only have a year to do it all before I’m right back here evaluating my life again.  For me, this time of year is a wakeup call and I welcome it.  So I say this, I am going to make this year the most exciting year of my life.  Who is with me?