Tuesday, January 6, 2009


The Judeo-Christian-Islam creation myth has at its core the idea that people were created perfect and then somehow through their own fault, strayed into making choices and thus became imperfect, bad. This puts people in the position of being in need of the saving by God or the following of rules or Jesus or some such form of redemption. What a bunch of hogwash this sort of negative self-denigrating trashtalk is! People are not flawed. To the contrary, we have been fine tuned to be perfectly functional and perfectly adaptable and perfectly creative. To survive in so many varied ecosystems and climates and to have spread around the world, adapting and thriving in each, we MUST be perfect in these ways.
The apparent "imperfection" that seems to exist is merely a product of the fact that we are formed by conflicting needs, conflicting pressures.
One such conflict lies in our daily work, how we spend our time and how much we accumulate resources for later use. We must gather, earn, make and trade for resources in abundance beyond our current needs in order to have some to see us through the lean times. That is ambition and achievement and success.
We must also use sparingly and conserve so that we do not waste time or energy or things or wear ourselves out. That is thrift and conservation and efficiency.
However, the real best answer lies somewhere in the middle. It is called moderation. One should accumulate enough to meet the needs of self and family and some extra to buffer hard times and lean times. But one should not work so much that one is over-stressed or worn out or spending too many hours away from the family or accumulating more than can be used or accumulating in such abundance of limited resources that others are left short.
But this set of conflicting pressures and corresponding seemingly conflicting behaviors means that those that achieve less can call the accumulation of others negative things like greed, hoarding, excess. And those that are jealous of free time one carves out can label that conservation of energy and failure to secure more resources with negatives like lazy or slothful.
Survival of the species depends on the flexibility to adapt to current conditions and on there being enough who get it not just right but within a range that allows survival, and when conditions change in one way or another, on there being some on the edges of the range to fit the extreme conditions.
You can call those who stray from the middle 'imperfect' but in the right situation they might be suddenly the 'perfect' answer to save your very ass.
So leave me be when I choose to lie about all day reading a novel or lounge in the back yard in the warm sun next summer. I am just conserving energy, recharging myself to work later, relaxing to keep from overworking. I am not lazy then; I am efficient.
And leave me be again when I add to my collection of 300-plus silver-tone leaf-shaped pieces of costume jewelry or accumulate yet another piece of art pottery or another basket. I am just practicing the skills to gather resources that I can exercise later for the acquisition of food and shelter. I am not being greedy or materialistic; I am gather resources to keep my skills honed.

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