Who are we?
Find somewhere very quiet to read this… Preferably outdoors, in the woods or a park bench where are you aren’t likely to be disturbed. I’d like to take you on a brief journey to figure out the answer to this very question.
Have you ever thought about where you came from? Or where your parents came from, grandparents, and so on? But I would like to go even further back than that… Have you ever questioned if we did in fact come from out of the trees and out of the jungle somewhere? Now you might ask yourself why we would want to know all of that? What difference would it make if life formed in a primordial soup, at the bottom of the ocean, or on astroids in space carrying water molecules? How much different would your life be if you discovered that we did descend from the most violent of apes? Would that explain our tendency to react swiftly and severely in a given situation? For example all the world wars since the turn of the 20th century to the present day could easily be explained away if we have descended from such violent creatures, correct? Here is really really fun stuff starts… we can divide ourselves into various schools of the thought and align ourselves with the various explanations of our past and our origins. Believe me when I say there are multiple avenues that I have followed quite extensively and each carry with them pretty convincing and reasonable arguments that almost effortlessly explain away a lot of the atrocities that have befallen us since we came down from the trees and started to form communities and planting our own food. It would be so convenient for all of this to be packaged up into that sweet little box of time unfolding through thousands of years and ending up tracing a linear dart from where we stand today to those violent and fittest genus of Darwin species.. But in my travels and extensive reading I come to find out that that is just simply not the case! We do not in fact descend from violent apes… All of the bones found in ancient caves weren’t a result of our violent tendencies they just so happen to be the victims of another quite larger and more violent predator then we ourselves admittedly are, now take a moment to let that really sink in… If we trace ourselves back to the animals that came down from the trees, they were largely herbivores, which meant they were also resourceful, conscious of their environment, and more importantly they were aware of each other and their needs. This begs the question, where did we go wrong?
So if you take it back even further than that and think that we were tiny molecules entrapped in small frozen quantities of water flying thousands of miles through interstellar space to end up crashing down on this floating ball of water that we now and inhabit… Those little molecules have endured countless miles, deep-freeze, temperatures rivaling that of our own sun, a ride that some of us would pay good money to have in a theme park in good ol US of A… The same molecules then went on to plumb the depths of our oceans to form creatures that live where no light is visible so they went on to create something as stunning as bio luminescence. Veritable light show beneath the ocean that we are only now beginning to understand, who’s florescence in some cases are the very things that are providing us with a deeper insight to mapping of the human brain as the infrared wavelength travels much further than the typical phosphorescent green wave lengths… these animals have invisibility cloak‘s, multiple colors of light, multiple means of projecting and using these colors, and some of even made it onto land itself. Fireflies, glow worms, and even different genus of mushrooms all fluoresce and all evolved from those same molecules that created the violent apes, and ultimately us. In fact, bio luminescence in all of its splendor is contained in 90% of the species that live below the waves!! Absolutely stunning when you think about it, begs the question why didn’t we develop this as well? Now imagine for a moment that you were those molecules flying through space having no idea where you were headed or what’s going to happen when you got there… Upon crashing down and dusting yourself off to have a good look around what would you choose? What do you think you would start to do if all around you was possible and nothing was off the table? What do you suppose you would find when you realized that there are infinite possibilities all of which at your fingertips and all of which are yours to choose freely to partake or pass?
So I’m sure you’re scratching your head and thinking what does all this have to do with being a dad, or a parent in general? As you think about the similarities of all of the things you’ve just read about the parallel is dear reader if you are a father it was you that put those molecules into motion… it was you and all of your life experiences that lead up to the moment of conceiving a child… That inexorable plunge towards the surface of the earth where we could either climb down from the trees and be violent and angry and locked in the eternal clash of ideologies, or we could shine like the bio luminescent creatures of the sea except the only things that can see us or other creatures or scientists. All of these choices theoretically and metaphorically are what is inherent in all of us. As a father it is our duty to learn as well as to guide. As a parent it is our inherent duty to let our children in on who we are as people and as a community. “Those with the privilege to know have the duty to teach”, but it is in the understanding of what we know that will help us determine what and how we teach. It is often in our best interest to find ourselves not being the smartest person in the room, because in that room is us with all of our knowledge and experience which is 100% unique into itself and thus brings the overall knowledge and experience in that room one step higher as a result of our being in it. Our ears always open our eyes always observant the information that we attain is then distilled to our children and it must be done with all the care and compassion afforded us as we see it. There are many distortions of history, there are many distortions of time and space as well, there are also an equal number of avenues we can take while searching for what rings true to us and what we feel is decent and good. Weather our grandparents sailed from Europe to Ellis Island, climb down from the jungles of Africa to form small communities, or raged screaming through the sky and a violent burst of light exploding to the earth, we all share off this floating ball of water, we are the curators of what our children become and only shape what they know and how it is communicated to them. This is not to say that we must all be students of Astrophysics or history, or biologists in anyway shape or form… This was merely an exercise and meditation on thinking beyond… when we take a moment to really let our minds wraparound who we are, or even what we are, the sum total of all of those parts must equal a measure of compassion for who we are not as well. In order to do this sometimes we have to gaze into that dissonant, uneasy world of violent rhetoric and hate to illustrate that this is not our way. It may ultimately take us the rest of our lives to figure out who we are… But may I offer that at least for the sake of our children and sake of our community as fathers, parents in general… Let us be a shining example, A bio luminescent example if you will, of who we are not for the sake of our species. (::)