Why Nothing Lasts

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Archaeology a.k.a. diggingON TELEVISION, archaeology showed us all it was possible to dig down a bit and discover fossils or ancient encampments from times lone gone. They always seemed to be digging, and this remains the case as far as I can ascertain.

In my humble opinion, this seems to suggest that if you leave something alone for long enough, it will become covered over. I think this is significant.

I was quite young when I first realised this was what had happened, and further enquiries provided a startling conclusion: man was at war with nature. It was a constant battle too, with no let up.

Anything that man left alone would corrode away to nothing, and it is obvious that we have very little impact on nature in the long run; that is the way it works. Nature is in constant flux and is infinitely adaptable. Therefore it cannot be beaten.

  • It is a vanity to think we can impact so greatly on the planet, or anything else for that matter. Let’s face the truth: in the end, nature will win, and we will be beaten out of existence.

The force of natureIt is obvious when you think about it; we have no control over earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, drought, infestations, or asteroid collisions and so much more.

I really do think that only when we all can accept this simple and obvious truth, that we can live better. We can stop thinking we can affect the outcomes with prayer, or with nuclear weapons. The sooner we realise that the enemy is not Russian, Islam, or Alien, the better.

Let’s be really blunt to make the point. If we hunt down and kill an entire species, then it is extinct. Nature (including us) then has to adjust to compensate. That’s all… please accept that it will cope and move on.

I wonder if it is better to let something become extinct or for mankind to try to play nature by struggling to keep a species alive.

We have a housing shortage in the UK at the moment, but new locations are bedevilled by groups who think that building homes would adversely affect nature.

  • They have a view that nature is some fragile and intricate system that relies on some kindly caring humans to continue!

country roadsThis is patently nonsense; if you allow a motorway or housing scheme to be built, notice how much effort, time and cost is involved in maintenance. Without constant and vigilant upkeep, the motorway and housing would be returned to nature, leaving only bits and pieces for future archaeologists to discover.

Indeed the only difference between actively removing the motorway and houses and just leaving them to nature is that archaeologists would prefer us to just abandon things for them to find in the future!

The first barrier between mankind and nature is clothing. Shelter is the second barrier. If we did not keep warm and dry, nature would make sure we became extinct.

We struggle to keep our shelters warm and dry, and even though things have progressed and developed over time, this is still a fundamental truth. We decide on our conditions for comfort, beating nature until the day we get cancer, famine, flood or earthquake, for rest assured, in the end nature wins.

For my part, I do not have the fears of Burke and Hare, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein’s monster, the Island of Dr. Moreau — they were of their time.

The Enlightenment and then the Industrial Revolution meant great changes in a short time. We basically went from a religious and superstitious rural existence to a scientific, industrious, rational, and urban one. As the value of God declined, the belief in mankind’s power increased to a point where some thought we ought to worry about it.

I do not suffer that vanity. It doesn’t matter if I believe that we caused Global warming, or if I believe that we can do something about it; I believe that if we did nothing, nature would cope perfectly well. The question is whether nature would include us in any future plan. So we have to do something to try to fight nature and continue to exist as a species. That’s the bottom line; the eternal struggle for existence.

It is the same for asteroids and meteors that might collide with Earth and destroy us all — we will have to try to blow them off course using nuclear devices or die trying. When an earthquake knocks down my house, I will build another.

I have no problem with GM foods, antibiotics, superbugs, animal research, hunting and so forth. Yes, I can see the ethical, religious and moral issues, but clarity is brought to the debate when you realise that the enemy is nature, and we have to do what we have to do to survive for as long as we can individually and as a race.

Does that mean that I have issues with religious people or vegetarians? Funnily enough, the answer is no. Acting as a group, mankind has done such a good job of creating such a false and cosseted environment that such people are inevitable — but the wonderful thing is that we can afford to have such people, and sometimes they are useful in making sure that the money and power is shared out better.

Knowing that nothing lasts is a great help throughout life.

The way I have learned to look at things is to know that if left unattended, they will disappear to all but the archaeologist. I apply this to everything from health, through wealth, to love and relationships.

One could say that relationships do not last and that would be true; they have ups and downs, peaks and troughs, or highs and lows just like everything else, and they will certainly run their course UNLESS they are maintained.

Keeping a relationship alive is just like any battle for survival; the relationship must be prevented from stagnation, it must be kept alive, it must be maintained, nourished, cared for, manipulated, etc. A relationship is not a condition or state, it is active, ever changing and requires participation and a commitment to involvement.

You know that it won’t last forever, but you can make sure it is long lasting and fun as well as meaningful and important.

A career is the same; it needs interest and ambition, it needs attending and activity — it needs risks, not bland securities and safeties.

Every area of your life makes this demand on you. You have to choose which things get your attention, you have to prioritise as best you can. It will fade away and die if you do nothing, so it requires positive energy and vision to maintain it, to pursue it, to make it work (whatever that is). Nothing lasts forever, but that is no excuse to do nothing!

5 Responses to “Why Nothing Lasts”

  1. […] about vanitas – the vanity of human wishes. It is about the meaningless and insignificance of life, how nothing lasts, and how quickly we are all forgotten after we die. This is not something I would have thought he […]

  2. Annalisa Finnelli Says:

    Check out the photographs of nature claiming/ reclaiming houses in Detroit
    or as “feral” houses being eaten by nature on
    very appropriate for this article I think

  3. Alaina verstegen Says:

    the tornadoes are awesome in snapshots

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