July 4th, 1776, and Today

Can we ever do anything right? Even when we start out doing something right we end up doing it wrong. This is a very sad commentary on the human race.

Success has a million failures. Human beings came onto the earth without a manual of operation, complete with diagrams. Everything we learned we learned through failure. In my young adulthood I bought two games for my children, Zelda and Mario Bro. I conquered all the worlds in both games, but I did so by dying a million times. Each death was a teaching moment and over time those teaching moments ended in success. It helped that I have a stubborn streak running through me because after each death I would throw the paddle and foreswear never to play again, only to pick up the paddle and try again. Most of us quit never reaching success and blame the universe of cruelty. There is truth to this; sometimes the universe is awfully cruel. It, too, didn’t come with a manual complete with diagrams.

Non-human beings, that’s everything that exists other than human beings, have hard-wired behaviors that causes them to be and act as it does. Animate objects, that is, those things that move as opposed to objects like rocks that are inanimate and never move unless some outside force moves them, are not always just machines, every action predetermined by structure.

I plant a tomato seed into the ground and water it. In time a little green shoot pop up out of the earth and then flowers grow and soon the flowers are replaced by a little green tomatoes that grow larger and become red.  No real choices here. I watch my cat walk up to the couch my wife is sitting on and you can see him thinking; Do I jump up? He’s looking around checking out his option because our dog is next to my wife. He has choices, though not moral choices.

Every day we humans have millions of choice to make (an exaggeration, of course for dramatic effect), some of them automatic, reflexive thanks to our brain stem that controls those actions. Others take place in the process of our thinking, both conscious and unconscious. In airborne school we every day went over the same procedures of jumping out of an airplane and landing. The day I first went up and jumped out of the airplane, and every jump thereafter, when the  jumpmaster yelled, “Stand up, hook up, check equipment, Go,” my mind shut down and I reflexively went out the door. Repetition makes choices reflexive. But even here there are choices being made, and all choices have consequences, like the time I simply walked out the door of the massive C-130, got sucked under the belly of the aircraft right into the man jumping out the other door, became hung up in his shroud lines and fought for separation all the way to earth. My choice to walk, not jump out into the prop blast that throws you away from the airplane and others, had two consequences; success, meaning you don’t die, or failure, you die. I’m writing this so I didn’t die, but no thanks to my bad choice.

To that very first question I asked, Can we ever do anything right?, the answer is yes and no. Even in the face of knowing there are good and bad consequences of our actions, consequences aren’t part of our reasoning process. And there’s the problem, we moderns have discharged reason as a provider of information. Moreover we are erasing history and reimagining it like a Disney movie.

I’ve got to be honest, the radical leftists, the Democrat Party, progressives, are making some of the dumbest choices anyone has or could make. The Republican Party is not far behind. In this new Civil War we are engaged in the United States of America founded in 1776 is a crumbling house, which is what one side of this war wants. They’ve, and if “they” are you, then you, are making your choices out of ignorance because you are comparing the “now” with ideology, not facts. Some of you are not choosing sides, but you know that old cliché, not to choose is to choose. Think upon this verse in John’s Revelation: “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” This house will fall equally upon your head as it will mine, even though I’ve made my choice.

If those of you on the radical side of this war pick up and light one bit of fireworks, think about how hypocritical you are. Today is a celebration of July 4, 1776. You can’t change it for your side, you haven’t won yet.