Monday, April 23, 2007

Chimps More Evolved Than Humans

This week we learned that chimps have the evolutionary edge on us humans. We think we're so very special, unique, and chosen. God's gift to the earth. But that's exactly backwards and the chimps know it. They know in their genes what we keep forgetting: the earth is God's gift to us! Our task is to learn to live in harmony with the gift.

Why is this so hard? We have language. Chimps don't write. We have money. Okay, Bonobos do have bananas and sex. But we have all sorts of tools to extend our capabilities. We have rockets and bullets and cars and computers and mobile phones and hedge funds and bread machines and indoor plumbing. Yet we continue to make the same mistakes. We have some serious weaknesses.

We daily give in to our greed, envy, gluttony, hate and anger, hubris, lust and yes, sloth. This makes for great literature, comedy and drama, but it really gums up the works in the realm of justice, freedom and peace. You see greed in people who do not understand the concept of enough. Do I really need more shoes, or golf clubs? Another car? A newer car? Another stuffed animal? Envy shows up when we want something better than our neighbor, Jones. We don't want to keep up; we want to pass up. Gluttony? Two words: obesity epidemic. Hate? This is a juicy one. We hate the "other" in our midst, like immigrants and gays and unemployed people and differently colored people. We hate the "others" who hold up a mirror and show us our vulnerability. That might be the terminally ill, the chronically ill, and the homeless. Sloth? Another two words: video culture. How about lust? While we are plastered to our chairs or couches a porn epidemic spreads via the internet. Our own stupidity probably will do us in.

Meanwhile, really bad stuff is happening to our fellow humans, our neighbors and our planet. Do you need a list? Didn't think so.

The cure. It's simple, but so many cannot carry it out because of a misunderstanding. It goes like this. Love your neighbor as yourself. Easy. But here's where language and cleverness bite us in the butt--who's my neighbor?

Peace out.

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