Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just A Game

Remember when they used to say that to us? As kids? "Don't worry kid, it's just a game."

I know I'm a little late in this news but as of today it looks like the Giants fan attacked by Dodger's fans here last Thursday will suffer brain damage.

Brain Damage.

And why?


You know we talk about evolution all the time. How over time it produces better things. But you know, some days, you hear about stories like this, two Dodgers fans beating a Giants fan so badly they had to remove part of his skull to reduce the swelling of his brain, and now, that he has brain damage, and then you think, "God, that sounds like something cave men would do."

And there's that shocking realization that maybe, even though we've been around so long, perhaps we really aren't any more evolved than we once were. Maybe we are just animals after all, capable of nothing more than digging in the dirt, mating, eating, and shitting.

It's moments like this that take a lot of the wonderful progress of the past and spit in its face, that sullies the human race, that reminds us barbarians still exist, in fact they walk among us, and they seek to feel empowered.

But then we take a few breaths. It's not really so bad as to say the entire human race is just a bunch of animals. A lot of people would contest to that, but if you're following my blog, and know about me, you know it's impossible for me to bring myself to simply say "Yeah, we're just one of the masses of other animals out there." Look, I love animals, trust me. I do. A lot. (Especially dogs.) But don't misinterpret my attempts to incoporate all methods of though as meaning I am without my own. My honest opinion? We're the best. People are the best. I'm sorry, but I look all around, and I take in all that we've done, and as I type I register that I am sharing my consciousness, my couscience, with other humans who may read it and derive new meaning to their own counsciousness, etc. and so on for a long, long time.

There's a difference between instinct and influence. Animals deal with influence too, but they're also much more being of their instincts. I'm shocked when people are shocked that instances like someone who train bears, who love those bears, who lives among the bears in peace, then is suddenly killed by those bears happen. Did we forget that it was a bear? Gentle Ben is a cute idea, and not much more. If you play with fire, don't be surprised if you get burned.

There's a reason pets are called "domesticated" animals.

So what sets humans apart from wild animals? We are driven more by our influences than by our instincts, as opposed to vice versa.

It ruins people's faith in mankind when someone bashes in the skull of another man over a game. A sport. Something that's supposed to be jovial and entertaining, that a little competition is fuel for a good show but beyond that, let's not get so carried away as to kill, or severely beat one another, right? Apparently not.

I'm not sure what the pasts of these two guys are, the ones who put this Giants fan in the hospital, but I promise you they didn't attack him because he tried to steal their cubs.

We could think of a million reasons, I'm sure, to justify the instinct argument, but honestly, can anyone argue with the fact that well adjusted people tend to not resort to violence over a Baseball game? Can everyone take a knee in on that huddle?

Here's the simple truth: love and kindness precipitate.

But unfortunately so does abuse and hate.

You'd be hard pressed to find a man or woman who became a killer or a violent hateful individual simply because nature told them it was a good idea and maybe they'd get ahead in life that way. And if nature is talking to them, well then, that's a whole new batch of problems.

You know, when you hit a kid, don't expect them to grow into Martin Luther King Jr. Granted, many people find the ways to turn hardship into a learning tool, into something to better themselves, but when a kid emulates his parents, or his influences, don't be surprised.

So the question is, really, what happened to these people, somwhere in their past, and what are we going to do to make sure future generations don't kill one another over a game?

Look, either you believe humans are pure instinctual animals just like the rest, or, you know, you hope that your husband/wife remains failthful to you throughout your marriage because a wild animal certainly wouldn't. And there's no moral consciousness for a wild animal because there's no need. All this ties back into my belief that we're the best.

But if you agree that we are as such, superior to wild animals, you need to show it. Don't give people reason to wonder if we've even evolved at all, or if we'll just be stuck in the cycle we've been in forever.

Things are at work in our lives beyond not just our control, but beyond our understanding. Whether that be, for you, science, religion, magic, the cosmos, whatever, you have to come to grips with the truth that, by the end of all of our roads, there are things about the world, the universe, everything, we will never understand.

But I believe there is at least one universal truth. Argue if you'd like, as it's something I'd love to delve into.

Love is the universal truth.

You don't have to know a damn thing more in the universe if you know what Love means, what it feels like, what happens when you experience it truly. For Love precipitates. All good things come from our striving to be more loving. Hate will wash away, fear will turn to dust, and all things bad and in between will soon be worth nothing, as we find that true Love is the truth.

So if we MUST come to terms with that fact, that we'll never understand everything about the universe, then at least know Love is something we're all capable of understanding. And though animals may experience Love in some form or another, they're not rushing out of their homes to fly to foreign countries to aid their people when Tsunamis hit. That's something humans do, and you better believe that makes us different from all other animals.

Baseball is just a game, but life is not. Take baseball with a light heart, but take life with an informed one. Be aware that, with a simple outward demonstration of Love, you could prevent someone from causing someone else permanent brain damage over a game.

Influences and instincts. We may be born with our instincts, but we also have the ability to go against them. But we're not born with our influences. Those are forced upon us, many times, even if we may not want them. Children don't really have much of a choice.

Animals don't live by the same rules we do. That's fine. They don't need to. They may know the difference between what it feels like to have influence and instinct, but what separates you from the rest of the animals is not just the ability to know the difference, but the ability to make the choice to do what's right.

You want to be an animal? Fine by me. Let me know how that works out for you. But I want to be a human.

1 comment:

  1. At first I was going to argue that the instance of the Giants fan getting beaten half to death was an exception to the rule, but then I remembered Lakers fans, and Raiders fans, and soccer fans in general, and I realized that there's really no rule to except from.

    Maybe it's just competition in general, and maybe there's a portion of society that loves competition but can't distinguish a simple game from actual warfare. When the adrenaline gets pumping, they lose control and react to the situation with a "fight or flight" response inappropriate to the actual scenario they're in. It might be evolutionary, it might be environmental, hell it could even be a fluke and the two assailants might have just been drunk at the time.

    My personal approach, though, is this: People are stupid, they do and say stupid things constantly, and it's simply part of who we are, ALL OF US. BUT...we don't want to be stupid. The vast majority of us try to improve ourselves, to learn and grow and STOP being stupid. Stupid is the default, Not Stupid is the goal, and in my opinion that's a pretty decent goal. Sometimes, somebody out there will do something really stupid, like nearly kill a man just because he was wearing the other team's jersey, but then we all see that and think "That's so stupid." and we learn one more way to not be stupid ourselves.

    I'm willing to bet those two guys feel really, really stupid right now. Terrified stupid, in fact.