Saturday, November 7, 2009

Conversation About Important Things

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Went to the local Starbucks this morning. Sat in the sun and watched the customers come and go. Couple of men I knew from other mornings in the sun sat at my table and, as we often do, began discussing retirement. Somehow, from that subject someone asked "what is the most important thing a person should do while alive?" After tossing the question around for a while, it was decided that human beings generally believe they are superior to all other forms of life, and as such, the most important challenge is to be here to see tomorrow's sun rise. This we interpreted as "self preservation" and by stretching a bit we felt this included procreation to preserve our species and so forth. The conversation skipped ahead to the "gap" between rich and poor. I know, it was a big skip.

The "gap", we concluded, was necessary to motivate human beings to better themselves. It provides a goal to aspire to, and while discussing this, we came to realize that the "gap" is unfair. Those of us born in America have, by accident of birth, been given the tools of natural resources that make it possible to prosper. Millions of other humans are born in places that have no resources they can use to promote prosperity. Thus, for example, there are people in parts of Africa who starve for lack of food or fresh water. There are people living in many other hostile environments who are also unable to improve their lot, and so forth. We summarized like this: The most important aspect of humanity is self preservation. Next, is the ability and need to procreate in order that the species can survive. And lastly, in our conversation anyway, we decided that the third important aspect of humanity is the (natural?) aspiration of the poor to get richer. Now, does that make any sense to anyone but us old guys drinking coffee in the morning?

1 comment:

Rain said...

Deep thoughts for a morning cup of coffee and yes they make total sense. Often when I am traveling around the West, in small cafes, I'll see the old ranchers or farmers come in for breakfast together. I wonder if their conversations are like that :)