"A lesson For The Ages"?
Greetings, I'm glad to be with you again. This is a brief discussion about how much our circumstances have evolved here on this planet we all call home, and how we continue to refuse to exercise prudent judgment in life management:
*In The Beginning*
It is taught in Chemistry/Physics that there were 10,000,000,001 protons created in the early universe for every 10 billion antiprotons. If it wasn't for this one extra proton per 10 billion then matter and antimatter would have annihilated each other. Post "Big-Bang" there had to be enough cohesion to allow matter to "clump" together, but not so much that it would all fall back together from gravity. Now using this mechanism, hang the stars in place and give some of them planets, and the star in question (our sun) had to burn at least 3.5 billion years to get life started here. Our planet (earth) had to be big enough to hold an atmosphere and sufficient volcanism to produce ample surface water, with a moon massive enough and close enough to produce tidal pools to harbor life, yet not so disruptive as to create daily tidal waves. From this "soup" came *Man* (and everything else that we have come to know).
If you trace your family tree back just 30 generations, and assume 25 years for a generation, your ancestry over 750 years encompasses first two parents then four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, 16 great-great grandparents, 32 great-great-great-grandparents, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1,024, 2,048....and finally1,073, 741,824 people! But 750 years ago it was the 13th century and there were less than one billion people in the world. This means that more recently than a scant 30 generations ago your mothers and fathers gene lines were merged with ancestors common to both. Follow your lineage back 50 generations and the number of common parental ancestors grows enormous! So enormous in fact that the entire human species can be encompassed within the scope of fiftieth cousinhood! This means that your ancestors include all the Whites, Blacks, Chinese, Arabs, Latin's, Eskimos, etc. who ever lived on earth in the year 700! It is virtually certain that you are the "direct" descendant of Muhammad and every fertile predecessor of his including Krishna, Confucius, Abraham, Buddha, Caesar, Ishmael, Judas Iscariot etc. With this sometimes "Noble" heritage what have we accomplished aside from our scientific achievements?
*People of Today*
We have briefly touched on how our planet has evolved and came to be inhabited by human beings. How much longer will it put up with us?
Currently there are (about) 6.8 billion people on earth. That sounds like a lot, but all 6.8 billion will also fit into the "Grand Canyon". But if you take into consideration the appetites of the more affluent American/Europeans whose excesses consume some 24 acres per person, then we will very soon need about four more planets to sate their demands. Another fact, one would assume that the children of these privileged people would have a better code of moral standards than their parents' right? Wrong!
A recent study by the Dept. of Ethical and Moral Standards shows: Teenagers steal 30%, lie 42%, and cheat 64% more than their parents!
While we have shown that we are *all* indeed at least "distant cousins" (Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White) we have much to learn from the knowledge in this message. We must be more tolerant and sensitive to the wishes and needs of others in these dangerous times. "If the only tool that you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail". Be careful, be wary, the ignorant among us do not love you and may seek to injure you in some way. It is said that 50% of the people you encounter (other than family) don't care about your problems and the other 50% are glad that you have them! Murray Kempton of the New York Post wrote "Many of life's greatest pleasures lie in the misfortunes of others". If you are alone, seek out the companionship of another, for no man is an island, no man can stand alone and keep also in mind that "Perfect is the Enemy of Good".
This I believe to be true and we have seen from our lineage examples above: If the "Scarlet Thread of Redemption" and forgiveness runs through any of us, it runs through us all.
All The Best,
- Henri W. Tartt
Henri W. Tartt
Supervising Chemist &
Chief of Microbiology
City of Cleveland, Ohio (Retired)