How to Become Extinct

How to Become Extinct
Copyright 2010 by Brett A. Fernau

Why does a species become extinct? Primarily because it can’t adapt to changing conditions in its environment. If you base your source of nutrition on only one specific type of plant or animal and, for some reason, that plant or animal is no longer available, you die of starvation. If the ambient temperature must be within a certain narrow range for you to survive, then when it suddenly gets warmer or colder and you can’t find a way to warm up or cool down, you die. If you can only live under the water and the water dries up or if you can only live in the air and you are submerged in water, you die. If you can’t receive and store information about changes in your environment and use that information to predict what will happen in the future, you will eventually become the victim of your environment. Most animals operate in this manner. They can’t control their environment, nor can they predict or adapt to changes therein. The more successful species do indeed adapt and make themselves at home in a changing environment, as evidenced by rats, coyotes, some birds and lots of insects.

The human species is rather unique in its ability to adapt the environment to its needs, rather than adapting to it. Using our intelligence and creativity, we have the ability to find ways to survive nearly every place on earth and under almost any conditions. If humans are deprived of their intelligence and have their creativity inhibited or destroyed, they become subject to all the liabilities of being a simple animal.

If you took a young human and allowed it to grow to adulthood without attempting to teach it anything useful, but instead taught it that humans are no different than any other animal on earth, that they are only a collection of chemicals incapable of true creativity, that any desire for achievement and accomplishment is bad for the other humans because it makes them feel bad, that all humans are the same and so all deserve to receive the same things from life, that suffering is a virtue, that poverty is good and striving for abundance is evil, that possessions are meaningless and degrading, that no one ever really wins or loses, that activity and enthusiasm need to be controlled, that obedience is good and questions are bad, that you only get this one chance at life and then it’s back to the dirt from which you came, then you would have made a very, very good start in rendering that young human incapable of survival. If you then declared the human spirit to be a thing of fantasy and tried in every way to remove it from the public discourse, if you made nothing of all those who would infuse their fellow humans with a sense of right and wrong, a sense of moral behavior, of honesty, integrity, loyalty, courtesy, dignity and honor, you’d have gone a long way towards convincing your fellow humans that they are indeed inferior to animals and should be eliminated from the earth. If you then managed to convince your young human that all thought was illusion, that all effort was futile, and that nothing it could do would make any difference, you’d have created a rather perfect slave, just waiting for you to tell him or her what to do next.

Of course, when everything you are trying to teach your young human is based upon a lie, you won’t get quite the 100% result you are trying to achieve for your bold new world. You can’t eliminate the human spirit by saying it doesn’t exist. Oh, you can suppress it, sure, but you can’t kill it. There will always be that spark of creativity, that irrepressible flare of unexplained ability, which shines like a beacon to those who can still see. Even in the darkest of times there are those among us who shine and think and lead, who create, who build, who encourage, who act. The truth is that each of us has the potential to become able. To be “able” is to think, to decide, to create, to solve, to enrich, to enlighten, to enjoy. The only way to kill the spirit is to get him or her to agree that they’re dead. The lie only works if one agrees with it. You and you alone are responsible for what you have become. To the extent that you have agreed with the lie, that is the extent to which you have become unable. So, disagree. Create something, make a decision and stick with it, solve a problem, think a thought, express an emotion, make a speech, write a letter, talk to a friend, talk to a stranger, go for a walk, light up a dark place, build a house, go to the moon, build a dam to control a river, light a fire to keep warm, grow your own food, start a business, invent a new product, start a movement to make government responsible to the governed. Adapt the environment to better suit your needs, it’s what we spirits do best. We aren’t here to wait around for someone to do something for us. We need to do things for ourselves. Take control, move mountains, tame lions and set an example for your fellow beings of what it is to be an indomitable spirit!!

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