the world is getting smaller in a big way

This has been on my mind lately – because they die. The passing of family and friends and loved ones…it’s been on my mind. I read a post on Facebook by a dear friend. Not a monumental post – not one to garner the attention of the masses. No, it was a post that described the pointless death of a giraffe, a fucking giraffe, caused by someone’s careless actions – not much different than the careless actions that cause the death of humans. The death of an animal does not earn much honor among humans; we found the death of this unfortunate giraffe, far less significant; after all, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time (there’s irony for you – he was in a zoo). in fact we made jokes about it…making the dead huge animal far less significant, than the idiotic actions of the zookeeper that allowed the animal to eat oleander leaves. If the zookeeper died the next day, even once enemies might be high fiving it, rejoicing in with the vindication. No, there is something paradigmatic deeply at work here – something about human awareness of human existence – awareness of nexus between “loss” and “who” it is that is lost and the perpetuity of their memory. As a self aware and intelligent man, I already no that this essay has just jumped the tracks of my readers comfort or even sound logical reasoning…

Humans continue to evolve and adapt physiologically over the course of evolutionary history, if you subscribe to that, but I am certain we are also evolving as emoting, bleating, impassioned, conscious, aware minds. And while over thousand generations it is impossible to see the retraction of the human tail to the useless coccyx, it seems I am witnessing the complete transformation of human psyche and metaphysics in my brief lifetime…there is an acceleration here and it disturbs me and enthralls me at the same time. Our metaphysical senses are expanding so much that, we are diluting the intensity…or at best “losing the bead” of focus…like attention deficit syndrome….we now have emotional deficit syndrome.

Perhaps this isn’t cataclysmic evolution – perhaps it’s been equally subtle as the evolution from ape to upright homo erectus. Perhaps social media via pervasive internet connectivity – the world wide web – may simply bring to the surface something that has always been there….passion. But I’m convinced that technology is as much a part of natural evolution as the mutation to an opposable thumb. In this analogy, it would stand to reason that there is an acceleration. I don’t recall when it changed…. but it has. The fact that we are so “impassioned” to throw a bomb or sanction against anyone who bombs or sanctions another is so “broadcasted.” We’ve lost touch with the importance of secluded microcosms – social media and broadcast news is so ubiquitous that I am now tempering my perceptions, values, emotions, and passions against a status quo that represents the “averaging” of every culture known to man. I’m aware of only one macrocosm now – and I beat my chest proudly at my new found “world citizenship.” We are all indeed ONE human race…but I guess I didn’t know the significance of that that until now. Now the death of a friends grandfather, mother, wife can be eclipsed by my worldly vision of a middle eastern man running out of his bombed out home with his mortally wounded child in his arms…or a dead giraffe. I miss my microcosm of human condition – I miss the “broadcasted” things that remind me of my grandfather or my childhood and the people in it. They are still alive – and if one were running out of his devastated home with an injured daughter in his arms – it would still remind me of the middle eastern man…and how the world macrocosm is so filled with horror and sorrow. I even share in the thrill of the kill of a morally deficient terrorist running across his bedroom more than I do in the image of my son running down the third base line for a heralding slide.

I still remember leaving my bike unlocked in my own little neighborhood…for days. I remember the death of friends being earth shattering events that changed the very fabric of that neighborhood…not a wrinkle in the fabric…but a new sheen. Now – I am aware of the strangeness of people with whom I know more of emotionally than I know otherwise…we bare our souls on Facebook so that anyone could see and share, but we cannot trust a stranger to watch our book bag while we run to the restroom.

Where are you with your blessed awareness…have you challenged it. Have you held it with reverence and delicacy – as if it had a hair trigger. I am a weighted down in the summer heat this evening – dining and drinking alfresco. Filtering out these unfamiliar but intensely “sensed” surroundings to allow the death of a friends wife, a friends mother, a friends grandfather to orbit around me…I want to go home, I want my children to understand “home” and I want to block their ears and eyes to all this nonsense…to turn their intense and electronically enabled awareness inward. God lives in my home town – he lives in this country…he may have a cousin in Egypt and to people in Egypt, God has a cousin here – it doesn’t much matter to me. The human condition is to be aware, but awareness is compassion…

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