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What About Now

My Journal

2/15/14


Today I don't want to be introspective. I want to just be superficial, which is kind of different for me, not in an arrogant way, just in a factual way. I thought it was interesting when I read an article about a guy who decided to follow Ben Franklin's schedule for a day. Ben left time for study and to deal with spiritual things. The author said he almost never did that, and it was an interesting thing for him to do. Thinking about big things like God and purpose and why we are here and doing research into those questions is something I grew up doing and something I do all the time. How can you not wonder about that? How can you just go through life and just go to work, come home, be with your someone, party sometimes and that is it. That is satisfying? Really? Don't you wonder about things as a whole? Don't you wonder why we are here or how, or do you just take science's or God's word for it and leave it at that. I guess in a way you could have more of your emotional energy available to fritter away on personal drama. That might be interesting. I know it is kind of a weight on me to wonder about my, and our purpose, to wonder what or who else is out there, and it is a huge itch I am just dying to scratch to see everything as it really is. I used to think I would just go to heaven and God would explain it all to me and I could live with that. Now I am not so sure I will ever know, and ugh, that is annoying.

But to live without that burden, to me is to live in a closet. To live in the small world of what I see now. I just need to get out into the air and breath and wonder, and make wild guesses and hope. So with that comes the burden of what I don't know, of making choices and just not knowing if they are the right ones because I can't have all the information. I can't see past death or into the new millennium, so I have to make some of my best guesses blind.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Movement

I have recently been having more contact than I am used to with those who find fulfillment and emotional connection in movement. I like to move, hard and fast, with purpose and possibly some sweat, but rarely is that movement integral to my connection with others or my feeling of fulfillment. It is true that running is definitely integral to my sanity, and my health, but what really connects me to others it talking: putting my thoughts and feelings into literal words and conveying them very specifically. Also, it is super important to me that I do what I can to tangibly affect the lives of others around me in need of help. I don’t feel the need to provide a release for them by entertaining them, I don’t feel the need to perfect myself as a performer. I feel the need to get kids in stable homes so they can have a chance to become productive members of society. I feel the need to literally help others in the most effective way I can see, but the movement artists I have been having contact with could never do what I feel strongly I need to do. They need to move with others. They need to love others through touch. They need to add beauty to the world. 

So while I am moved and excited by the prospect of representing a foster child in court, the movement artists’ eyes would glaze over. While I see the beauty in their movement, and I find pleasure in the occasionally dalliance with the movement world, it is just another way to stretch my comfort zone, it is not my heart. 

Not that my passion is better than the artists. My passion is about me as much as it is about the world. If the world didn’t need kids without families to find their place I would still feel the need to do something like it to a certain extent. Also, some of the kids I want to provide peace and belonging to will need movements arts to provide their sanity. 

The thing that I find the most interesting is how people in this world can look at the same world I see, but see it so differently.   Every one knows people have different opinions, but for me, seeing the passion these movement artists feel toward their art, and realizing that their passion is no less than what I feel, just toward a completely different enterprise, is fascinating. I could go in front of people and do a poi routine, but it would be challenging for me, and it would be totally out of my comfort zone. I could model or dance or do trapeze but I would see it as trying something new and stretching myself. For movement artists, that is their home, that is what they must do to feel alive, and that is their truest expression of who they are. Part of me wishes movement was more a part of who I am, and part of me is happy to realize that who I am is still ok without passion for movement. 

I am just grateful to have my understanding of people broadened any time I get the chance. I love to see who people are in reality and not just in theory. I love to be able to better address people where they are, in the world that is theirs, and in doing that, I get to participate in a limited way in a world that is exciting and new for me.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SNOW!










We finally got enough snow to make snow cream. Interestingly enough Nina went out in the the snow to cut the daffodils that were blooming on the hill. What season is it again? If you are wondering where Arin is in the pictures, he is the smart one. He only went outside for a couple of minutes to appease the rest of us and get us to quit asking him if he wanted to go outside. I didn't have my camera for those few minutes. Nina, on the other hand, spent 30 minutes moaning about how frozen her feet were when she finally came in. 

We had an awesome snow. I even enjoyed a few quiet moments in front of the window with my coffee and a book. Bliss, for me.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Men and Women as Friends


My parents didn't have close friendships with the opposite sex. At most there would be couple friendships that would quickly segregate themselves when they had the chance. Working relationships were allowed, but were so formal as to hardly meet the definition of "friend". Often there were also cultural expectations regarding appropriate topics for men and women to discuss. Women were not expected to be interested in weighty matters, and therefore people like my childhood pastor expressed something akin to shock when I as a college student tried to participate in an all male discussion of something theological. 

In my generation most conversations among the sexes don't limit their topics. Women can talk about any topic they have knowledge of, or ask questions about those they don't. Men, also, can talk about largely female topics and no one bats an eye. But as we have become more comfortable in seeing mixed groups I think we have discovered there are still lines that differentiate buddydom from flirting. Unfortuantely those lines vary. When we had clear distinctions between men and women it didn't matter where the lines were because we were no where close to them. 


There are many levels of male/female friendship. Let me help you understand my definitions of them

1. completely plutonic
Some examples:
     a. unattractive person can be friends with the opposite sex completely uneventfully
     b. when conversations happen only in conjunction with professional activities and never cover the personal

2. personal interest
examples
     a. Conversation has crossed from professional to personal
     b. a mutual interest has been found
     c. you just enjoy talking to this person of the opposite sex

3. intentional interest
examples
     a. a man and woman friend see each other regularly and talk about personal or interesting things
     b. a man and woman purposely schedule time to talk or do things together.

4. friends with benefits
examples
     a. pretty self explanatory, friends have sex for fun, but no exclusive relationship

5. dating
examples
     a. well, the people involved are now exclusive and the friendship has moved out of the friend zone.


Society is still for the most part used to men and women alone together being couples. Whereas it would be rude to assume the female friend that is dining with me is my partner, it is completely reasonable to assume the man accompanying me to the er with my daughter is her father. Some people take offense at this and see it as a flaw in society. I have asked and answered enough awkward adoption questions to know that I should just give people a break. Their main job is not to figure out my personal relationships, and I choose not to dwell on their choice of words. 
    
 I think it is great that we are now able to help each other with our strengths and not worry about wether we are men or women. There are some catches with this new found freedom, however. 

Studies are beginning to show us that there are differences between how the sexes view each other. It seems that women are far more able to see a relationship as plutonic. They are not nearly as concerned with sex as men. Not that that is surprising. Men, on the other hand appear to be more opportunistic. If they have a chance at sex they tend to be aware of it and willing to act on it. They are far more aware of the attractiveness of their female friends. Some people even choose who to talk to based on their appearance. Of course some avoid the attractive based on intimidation and some choose the attractive based on status. 

So that leaves an awkward boundary somewhere in the friendship continuum. How do you know whether your invitation to that guy to lunch will be seen as a great chance to be friends or an open invitation to frolic afterward? If you are truly wanting to be just good friends should you be in public together, at home alone together, and what if the attraction does cross the line? This is the zone when friendships need to have some conversations that even those in relationships try to avoid. What are your boundaries? How far will this go? 

If you have a bimonthly lunch date this may not be necessary, if you are out every weeknight with this person, you may need to see where it is going. 

Thankfully, along with the friendship taboos going out the window conversation taboos are as well. It is not a big deal to talk about any subject with any person who feels comfortable, even religion and politics. So if a friendship conversation seems necessary it doesn't have to be a big deal. But then, if you are good enough friends you very likely know the other persons character well enough to be able to understand what they hope to get from the friendship you have. 

In scouring the internet you can get plenty of advise about male female friendships. Many people still think it isn't possible. I think it depends on your definition. Of course it is no big deal to have a couple of conversations and possibly a meal out. But it is true that many people have a hard time controlling attraction, and many affairs begin from office friendships. Many people will never have close friends with the opposite sex because they can't handle it. It requires maturity and trust, which some adults never attain. 

I personally have never done well with male friendships. I was raised to believe that boys only wanted one thing, and was not very interested in giving that up. Turns out that worked well for me. Most guys who got to know me never wanted to stay friends. I would have conversations, but even a walk around the block with a guy led him to think we were dating. I mostly blame that on a religious perspective that held a clear trajectory to the alter for most cross sex friendships. Ironically the first guy that I really felt was a good friend to me I ended up marrying. Clearly I am hopeless. Marriage has been helpful however. When it is clear where my loyalties lie it is easier to relax and have a good conversation with someone just for the sake of conversation. 

For the most part I see male/female friendships as not that big of a deal. The only time I think they are considered interesting or shocking is when they are heading toward one of the boundaries that require a relationship talk. Are you doing lunch every so often? Fine. Are you conversing behind your wife/husband's back and then meeting secretly, even if there is no sex involved? That is a problem. Are you going to a concert you both want to see? Great! Are you spending the night together in the same bed. That could be a problem, or at least so close to a problem that it is not really worth doing. I mean seriously can't you sleep on the floor and give her the bed or vice versa? I think the boundaries are more important when you are married. If you are both single friends, and make a bad choice it is easier to recover with less loss, though it could still affect the status of the friendship and future friendships and relationships if you make a bad call. If you are married, your kids, your wife/husband and yourself could all suffer if you are not careful. So my thinking is, enjoy your friendships with all people but don't take unnecessary risks unless there is a clear benefit to most of the parties involved. 

These are interesting links if you want more info. By the way, if you choose to google this topic, be prepared for an onslaught of people being cynical about the possibility of male/female friendships. Like I said, it is primarily for mature adults and apparently there are a lot of immature ones out there. 

Todd likes this article about friendship, and I think it is pretty good. From Psychology Today


This article sites a popular recent study that seems to indicate that men are too horny to be friends, but just look at their sample: 88 undergraduate friend pairs. Hardly representative of the population. Though, even with that bias, the results don't seem that far from correct to me, just some of the conclusions drawn from them. But you can decide for yourself.


NPR also talks about the above study



This is a video that some college kids did. Obviously from my experience it seems accurate, but it sure does seem like they have an agenda. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Real Chinese Factory Worker


 


I liked this speaker because I believe she has the authority to say what she does after two years of immersion. I also love this rare opportunity to hear the voices of the workers in these storied factories. 

The idea that other cultures have values we American's don't understand is something that resonates with me personally. I care that people don't view India as a pathetic place where many people are poor but happy: a lesson to their American kids that they should be grateful they don't have to play with sticks in the dirt. India is far more complex than that. Children everywhere experience joy, selfishness, sadness, excitement, most everything American kids experience, simply to different triggers. This talk seems to indicate that workers in these Chinese factories are more than slaves forced by "big brother" into an evil machine for our benefit. They are people with dreams, like us. It is just that their dreams don't resemble ours, and their environment is not one most of us understand. 

Many Americans, even those who think they are doing poor Chinese or Indian people a favor by demanding certain wages or conditions for them, are behaving with an attitude of American arrogance. We Americans have the power to demand the kind of life we feel the rural Chinese should have. We think they deserve I-phones, and we think we should do our best to keep jobs away from them if those jobs do not provide the opportunities we are used to in America. 

We need to accept the fact that they will live in conditions we would never tolerate and be joyful. Similar to the way the American rich may look down on the family living in the 1000 square foot single family home and not be able to imagine their lives in it. When we were in our 1000 square foot single family ranch we were grateful for it. It was much better than our single wide trailer. Likewise, when we first moved into our single family ranch Todd took a job that paid $10 an hour for a while, and we were grateful for it. He would never even think about working for that now. 

The Chinese are not wanting to make these wages forever, but it seems to be a stepping stone they are grateful for. As long as they are entering into these factories of their free will let's not rob them of jobs because we think we know better a world away. Let's listen to their voices and respect that they are people who can make their own decisions. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Female Chauvinist Pigs and the state of women in society


This is one of my latest reads. The book was ok. I would have preferred more solutions and less setting the stage, but I found some perspectives that interested me and added my take on the topics below.  

Lose your inhibitions!

Pg 198
"We are still so uneasy with the vicissitudes of sex we need to surround ourselves with the caricatures of female hotness to safely conjure up the concept "sexy" When you think about it, it's kind of pathetic."

One thing that is made clear in this book is that sex is still one of the things that make grown men and women giggle in awkwardness. Inhibitions, or squeamishness about sex is one of the things that seem to make it exciting.  In strip clubs and other places we hear phrases like "lose your inhibitions". But I think in reality if we did lose them: if being naked in public was no big deal, if seeing a girls boobs was just like seeing her big toe, we wouldn't care about it as much, and the sex industry would be in big trouble. Besides the fact that men would have nothing to talk about in locker rooms, and women would have to think and talk about something other than what men want.  

Here is what would be left. We would still want sex, but we wouldn't need it to show off to our friends or to have a story to tell. We would need sex because humans want sex. We would be more in tune with our own needs and wants and sex would satisfy more of our real needs. Society is so loud about stories of what we should want, what is taboo, that it is very hard to hear what we want and what we need. Maybe the thing that would satisfy you the most is doing it missionary style with someone you love. Maybe the thing that would really make your life worth living is doing it in a group in public. Maybe the thing you really want is just to imagine doing it in a group in public. In a similar way to how wanting to be a mother is excluded from true feminist options, wanting what will really make you happy sexually seems questionable. It seems that if you tout the feminist line you must sacrifice some of your own pleasure for the cause, or delude yourself into thinking you have what you want. Most of these feminists will never know because their sex messages are so loud they can't hear what their soul is really crying for. 


Just don't do it! (sex education)


Another thing mentioned in this book is politics. The far right wants abstinence education and nothing else. "Just don't do it!" This has been shown to not help anything. Alternatively, the left primarily wants to hand out condoms and tell kids, "Good Luck". Giving them the freedom to express their sexuality at a time when they have no idea what they are doing. According to this book, this works out great for boys wanting blow jobs. 

The author pointed out that neither of these plans is truly helpful to teens wanting to know what to do with these new sexual urges they are experiencing and the new sexual currency they have to bargain with. She doesn't say exactly what she thinks would be helpful, but I like the fact that she seems to take a balanced approach. 

My theory about sex education is that sex, for the most part, is a reflex. Good, exciting, adventurous sex is learned, but what this is varies depending on who is involved so it really can't be taught in a class. And if you don't learn about good sex in an environment where you are allowed to fail, you can easily develop a skewed view of what sex should be.  I think a more effective approach would be relationship education. When you know how to find a good mutually loving relationship, you have a safe arena to perfect your sexual practices without rejection, or unnecessary baggage that can inhibit your sexual life and ability to love forever. 


The men and the girly girls


This author tends to group modern feminists into either the women who want to be like men or the ones who want to be what men want. The ones who want to be like men are very often not sexy dressers. They feel angry when they see women posing nude or waitressing in short shorts. These women are also the ones who feel like they should be able to love and leave just like men can. If they can't do this they feel the demeaning, prissy, 50's woman specter creeping up on them and do whatever is necessary to suppress any need for companionship they might have. "If men can be casual about sex, then so can I." Is their mantra. Because to them equality includes having identical sexual needs and wants. 
     The opposite side of todays feminists feel that "Fine, if men want my boobs they can have them, but I am going to call the shots.". So they get attention with videos, and other forms of public nudity and sexual gestures. They feel temporarily wanted, and not at all in connection with the weak part of them that may want to be loved for who they are and not how much skin they show. While the author doesn't come right out and say this as bluntly as I would have liked, she basically implies that both of these reactions, which are sanctioned by society,  are too limiting for women to really express and demand what they need. Both of these roles are based on a foundation of fear, and ironically, insecurity. The insecurity comes from thinking that "If people really knew I want a guy to settle down and have a family with, they would see me as weak. Both women and men would be ashamed and disgusted by me. I wouldn't be living up to my potential." When in reality, women who are secure in themselves are not afraid to admit that they value family, or that they want a solid relationship before they give sex. They are not afraid to really truly know themselves, and say. "I wish I could be casual about sex, but I just can't." Or say, "I am just not interested in easy sex because it doesn't seem that exciting to me when I consider the cost." Or, "I don't really care about the cost, I just want to have sex with that guy or girl or both or everyone in the room." I agree with the author when she indicates that women will really have sexual freedom when feminists don't divide themselves into two narrow camps, neither of which truly represents the breadth of female desire. And neither of which even comes close to portraying what is truly beneficial for women or what they really want for the most part. Both camps are a pendulum swing reaction, and both are meant as a message to men, not freedom for women. When we can quit fixating on how men see us, and truly discover what we want and go for it, whether that means being a monogamous stay-at-home-mom, or a highly paid porn star, then women will be free. 


Pg. 200
"If we believed that we were sexy and funny and competent and smart, we would not need to be like strippers or like men or like anyone other than our own specific selves."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gabby, Claressa and their racial status

Gabby Douglas
After Gabby won her gold medal in Women's All around, Bob Costas tried to make a comment referring to her race and not piss a bunch of people off. That is an incredibly difficult task for a successful white guy to do. This was what that endeavor sounded like:  

"You know, it's a happy measure of how far we've come that it doesn't seem all that remarkable, but still it's noteworthy, Gabby Douglas is, as it happens, the first African-American to win the women's all-around in gymnastics. The barriers have long since been down, but sometimes there can be an imaginary barrier, based on how one might see oneself." 

He was only moderately successful at not pissing people off. I liked his comment, because I think it mentions a new paradigm we are seeing in relations specifically with African American people and, well, basically every other race. Overall, there was very little mention of what color Gabby was over the course of the Olympic coverage up until that point. She wasn't hampered with the burden of raising the respectability of those with her skin color. She was just another girl struggling to do her best in an elite sport. The truth was, I believe most people didn't spend much time at all worrying about what color she was (except for those voicing deep concerns about her hair), because these days it is not uncommon to see African American people in any position, from Walmart cashier, to banker, to artist, to President, to elite athlete. Most of us are used to it. We are all happy for her because she did a great job. Which is a much more beneficial spreading of the glory than having to assign glory to someone merely because they are a certain color and do a good job. What we need to realize is that these days, having to dwell too long on which person is the first African American to do so-and-so can be in itself racist. These days I think bigger separators of people are income, and culture. Culture that almost kept Claressa Shields from becoming the Olympic boxer she is. To paraphrase a recent "Essence," article in my own words. Her mother was a drunk, who associated with men who objectified Claressa, and her father almost completely refused to allow her to train for boxing because he was concerned it would make her less physically attractive. She felt like everyone was against her and her family almost kept her from attaining amazing heights in her sport. I know this is only one instance but this is a perfect example of culture keeping a person from excelling. It wasn't money that put Claressa's future in jeopardy, it was a lack of belief in her dreams by those closest to her. THAT, I think is a bigger deterent to future success than money or race. Something I see over and over in Olympic coverage are images of the families behind the players, and the joy players feel in having their families be there for them and support them. Some families put themsleves in financial hardship in order to see their children in the Olympics. I think we need to shift our thinking. We need to realize that race in and of itself is not the great divider. Money and culture: as in the attitudes we come at life with (ie, Claressa's family's disbelief in her) are going to be the big dividers as we move forward. And yes, these are big problems that need to be addressed. If we keep acting like race is an issue, we will jeopardize African Americans' future advancement. White people will, and sometimes are afraid of stepping on black toes, so they sometimes separate themselves or force themselves to have "token"  acquaintances, rather than see African American people as potential equals and friends. 
Claressa Shields



Gabby did well. Good for her. Good for America. And if the black community now wants to claim her as theirs that is fine, but they must understand the more they distinguish themselves by pointing out that they are different in color the more they encourage others to see them that way. The more they act like it is not normal for them to excel the more people will see it as exceptional when they do. On the other hand, the more they expect their children to do well, even to do the amazing, the less people like Claressa will have to beg and plead their own families for a chance. Who knows how many African American kids or even low income kids of any race didn't have Claressa's tenacity, and were stifled in their dreams by their own community? I hope one day we will be able to admit the flaws in the attitude of racial separation, so that more poeple can truly benefit and excel, even if it is in a way that their culture of birth doesn't sanction. Color is a separator of the past, and the more whites or blacks dwell on what is expected or not expected of the African American community as a group, the more we do young African Americans a disservice by limiting their opportunities. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Global Warming and the state of Earth Improvement

I have been looking into global warming a bit lately. It was spawned by the random act of checking out "What's the Worst that Could Happen?" by Greg Craven. He is not an expert, but he plays one in the high school science classes he teaches. He wrote this book to help people think more objectively about, not who is right and wrong, but whether we should take action or not. He is obviously under the opinion that taking massive action immediately is the right way to go. I didn't find his book particularly helpful, but I would agree with one of his thoughts. The truth about what global warming is, how it works, and most of all what it will do to us in the future is not nearly as important as the actions we take or don't take. What I mean is that finding an alternative to using gas in cars is a good thing no matter why you are doing it. Trying to watch and clean what our power plants are spewing into the atmosphere can only be good,  and looking into a variety of types of power sources can only be better for our future. Freaking out and rushing changes onto the likely causes of CO2 emissions may do more harm than good if our alternatives use more energy, or loads of money. 


My first reaction to the whole thing is a natural skepticism. There is money on one side and politics on the other, neither of which I trust, and in some instances those are both on both sides. I also find myself a bit at odds with some environmentalists. I know they mean well most of the time, but my natural bent is to help people, not plants. In this case they would probably say that planting more trees would help us all. From the little research I have done it looks like what would help the most is if everyone in the world would give up their cars, and electricity, and even then it would only be about half of the cut in CO2 we would need to return to pre-warming temperatures. I am not ready pretend the industrial revolution never happened and return to pioneer days yet. 

There are many things about this issue that are very tricky. I have heard that the best way to actively push for the measures we need to combat future global warming is to lobby governent. The slow, plodding, bipartisan government. I know that most of the government is aware of the environmental lobby, and reacts to them when it needs to to maintain their votes, but I worry about the reliability of the outcome. And I personally am not a big fan of bigger government. Ok, so let's take global warming to the personal level. What can I do other than vote and annoy my congress person? It seems that it is hard to move in the right direction without moving in the wrong direction in another area, very likely canceling out the good I did. Like maybe I grow a good bit of my own food, therefore lowering CO2 that would have come from the trucks delivering vegetables to the grocery store, but then I own an SUV. Or maybe I try my best to eat organic, and not eat meat, to help eliminate methane and such, but then I love to take long trips to cool destinations in my car. And then there is me. I try to buy local at the farmers market, which helps reduce CO2 emissions from long deliveries, and I use florescent bulbs, but I shop at Walmart and use plastic bags and disposable diapers. I am sure not helping things. I do try to re-use my Walmart bags for other things, but that really isn't an excuse. I do adopt children rather than put more people on the earth, but I did up the population by three personally. I just can't win. So if all of us are doing things like composting, but yet driving an old car that doesn't have very modern exhaust upgrades, how much are any of us going to help? It sure doesn't seem like it will amount to much, and I think a lot of people who know alot about climate change agree. That is why we come back to government, because power companies aren't going to fix themselves, right. Lately I have been rather scared by the realization of how much the government actually funds in this country. Almost all of science can trace at least part of it's money back to the government, (which, again, I don't trust). So where does that leave us. It seems to me that we have a tangled web that is extremely hard to navigate, and vulnerable to the whim of popular opinion. 

So what about global warming. It does seem to be warming. Are we causing it. Possibly, probably, in part, who knows. I don't. I think we know too little about the long history of the earth to truly be able to fathom what is going on here. What should we do? What we have been doing. Let's try to pollute less. Let's try to make the energy we use more efficient, and develop cleaner sources of it. Let's think outside of the box. I like the oddball ideas I have read about like capturing this excess carbon in the atmosphere and re-useing it for energy. I even read an idea that involved deploying giant mirrors into orbit to deflect some heat from the sun. Sure, these ideas may be crazy and may not work, but they may lead us to ideas and ways of thinking that will. Let's not get hung up on specifics, and not get caught up in angry debates. there are a lot of things that neither side knows for sure. But I think we know enough to be grateful for what we have, and know that we can't just coast along doing whatever we want to our planet and think things will always be fine. I for one will probably keep buying local, and then turning around and buying Walmart. I will vote for the guy that I think represents my views on most issues in general, but I probably won't annoy him for much. Maybe a midwife issue here, an adoption issue there. Things that affect my immediate family, just like most people. I won't give up my car, but I will try not to make extra trips, or long trips if I don't feel I have to. Will government and power companies and car companies do what I need them to do with out my hand at their wheel? I don't know. I don't even know exactly what I would ask them for if I could, because I don't know the difficulties behind making less polluting cars work, and then making them at a price I am willing to pay. Though I would be happy to buy an environmentally friendly mini-van if I could afford it next time. I will just send out my hope, that if we are contributing we can figure out what we can do to help before it is too late. The other thing I realize is that the world was not specifically made to accommodate me. There very likely could come a catastrophe to humans that we didn't cause, or didn't cause completely. We have been very lucky up until this point. The earth has been through many time periods that would not have been so comfortable for us, and may go through more. There is no law saying the universe must be nice to us, unless there is, and that would lead to an entirely different understanding of the universe to debate.