It’s been over a month since my last post, but something happened. The world went sour and spending time writing a blog, which I enjoy immensely, seemed like such a trivial, self-serving contribution to an already too enormous glut of words trying to make sense out of what’s going on.
Although I’m a writer with an insatiable need to write, how do I avoid dwelling on a human race run amok and not let it color my enthusiasm for good things to come?
Politicians are no help here. The cultural anthropologists will have to explain human behavior to us in such a way that we can deal with its atrocities and understand how we’ve emerged, since the beginning of our existence, with this unholy need to kill every other living thing that crosses our path. Our three thousand year history is a relentless chronicle of violent human behavior—ethnic cleansings, slaughters of entire civilizations, destruction of irreplaceable treasures, the slaughter of those of different beliefs—the Jewish Holocaust—I could go on and on. This need to destroy is not the work of some supernatural devil force. It is perfectly normal behavior of a species of mammal that has imbedded in its DNA a predator gene, usually recessive, but, when turned on, runs amok.
We are the mammalian product of evolution rising from the primordial mud thousands of years ago. We have been given, by whichever Creator you recognize as your God, DNA and a genetic make-up that contains a predator gene that is usually recessive until activated by a host of reasons. Something went wrong during the process but, it defines our character. The sooner we accept that this gene, when activated, causes behavior capable of obscene destruction, the sooner we will be able to deal with it. We cannot deny it—we can only learn to recognize it at the start and learn how to channel it away from calamity.
We see the evidence everywhere. We can begin with our determined destruction of any life form on Earth that isn’t like us and therefore of no value.
Go on from there to the child massacre in Connecticut, by a lost soul for whom there was no help, and on to a mother who had to put six bullets into a home invader to save her children, acts of neighborhood violence by men who’ve lost their humanity, the wholesale slaughter of 60,000 citizens by a demonic, power-crazed ruler, or the ever-present ethnic cleansing inspired by zealots held in thrall by their religion exists with the same fervor today as it did a thousand years ago.
If we want to make this a better world than what we have now, we have to admit that humans kill when turned on to do so. They enjoy it. We won’t solve the problem by getting rid of guns because other ways less convenient will replace them. We must accept the existence of the predator gene and recognize that, even though it is usually recessive, there are a host of catalysts that will activate it.
Killing is not acceptable and must result in loss of life as punishment. That includes acts of war, ethnic cleansing, and simply killing because you can. Recognize the existence of this aberrant human behavior, learn to recognize it early on and its many causes and teach the awareness of it beginning in early grade school. Recognize mental illness and make treatment available. Recognize early signs of predatory behavior and do not allow teasing or bullying in the young.
Find out why Chicago and Detroit neighborhoods reservoirs of violence, and fix it. Why do children bully? Put an end to it by teaching why. Get to work and do some thoughtful parenting. Be prepared to learn that humans who cannot be re-educated will have to be eliminated from society forever.
Meanwhile, understand the problem and be prepared to do whatever it takes to protect yourself. You might want to learn more about my take on the subject by reading my book, “Accidental Alien.”