“Absurdity of the modern condition”

Yellowstone reintroduced the wolf in 1995 and since then packs have grown to be part of the greater ecosystem (with the expected controversy).  One effect of this decision to bring in 14 wolves is the frog.  For a long time, Yellowstone was without a predator to spook the elk herds and other ungulates away from creeks and other light swampy areas.  Of course the elk still have ample time to get their drink of water, but instead of being there all day eating the vegetation, they come and go.  Since the wolves have be reintroduced, vegetation has grown and as a result an ecosystem developed that supported frogs.

The complexity of how the world works is an outrageous concept to understand.  When people talk of changing the world, I wonder how often they really think about what that means.  One thought is that small groups of people have made enough of a difference to change the world in the past, so why not again?  Rock on!  The world, the planet, is a system.  And within that system everything is connected.  So, if you think about it, every choice you make as an individual effects the world in some way, and in essence changes the world, even if it be so small that you do not recognize it.  The world is complex, but simple at the same time.

We may think science to be a difficult subject, however when you sit down and consider what makes up matter at the atomic level, it is very simple.  It is only when we consider those simple pieces in motion that it becomes compounded beyond belief.  We too, as people, have trouble understanding each other when we are in motion.  How often do we wonder why certain parts of the world seem to always be in violent conflict?  Do we think that the only way to stop it is by sending armies of troops with big guns?  This is the absurdity of the modern condition.

It is often not a hardware problem.  Usually it is the software that could use a little work rather than smashing the monitor with a hammer, even if that would make one feel better.  There are so many simple solutions to complex problems that never materialize because they are not considered in the context of a greater system.  Sometimes the best way to prevent conflict is by giving one individual a lot of cash.  One individual who possesses influence and control over a system has a greater chance of making change than an outside force.  But that is temporary and not a solution.  When you take some time and look at how the system works, you can better understand how to solve the problem.  As the crazy genius said in Patch Adams, if you focus on the problem, you can’t see the solution, you must look beyond.  It takes effort.  In the long-run however, things become easier.  Regardless of what we come up with, it should always conclude with “further research required.”

On an individual level this has been referred to as “knowing yourself.”  It may be difficult and painful in the beginning to break down all that has made you YOU, but down the line, when you who knows yourself faces adversity, it will be easier.  You will not have to waste precious seconds wondering if you can handle it or if you should really do it.  You will intuitively know as some others say from time to time.  When we know ourselves, we can then see our place in the greater system: in our family, in our community, in our country, in our world.  Then, as you come to know other like-minded people, you start to develop a group that may indeed change the world.  It all starts somewhere.  Remember, none of this can be done by thinking about it all at once as a problem.  Instead, all at once as a system, it is possible to see how a singular action now will lead to an effect down the line and eventually to what you want to do or where you want to go.                                                                                                         Amazing possibilities.