Our World is a PERFECT mess because we chose to make it so
I am walking through the gently falling rain by the lake of our family cottage.
The only sounds are the pitter patter of the raindrops on the lake and the buzzing of the horseflies around my head.
I see nobody. I hear no car. Nobody is around, unless you count the family of Turkeys I just crossed path with: a Mother and 12 little chicks.
I looked. I saw it.
The still water on the lake.
The dark cloud thundering all around me.
The daisies in the ditch.
The cottage built 60 years ago by the good friend of my father in law, both, now dead.
Hunters both, in the Happy Hunting Grounds, where they both belong.
Time stopped for 1 eternal second.
I was frozen in time.
And everything was perfect.
The world wrapped around us all, the womb we live in, the womb that gives us life.
The womb that we are killing.
But it is not dead, yet.
While we live, we breathe.
Every breath is hope. Is strength. Is the will to power.
Every moment in time is perfect, not in spite of its imperfection, but because of its imperfections.
What would a sunny day be without some rain to bring new life?
What would a northern forest be black flies to pollinate the blueberries?
What would the silence be ringing in my ears, a cacophony that serves to highlight a single raindrop that shouted in my ear as it splattered on my hat?
Frozen. To see in that moment all that could be. Not what we simplistically call ‘reality’.
Not only what is. But what is becoming.
I wallowed in perfection for that moment.
The kind of perfection we all dream of.
But there is another kind of perfection.
The kind you don’t want.
The kind we don’t admit to.
The kind that hurts. The kind that kills.
Here is simple example of it.
I hired a man to dig some posts for a foundation for a sunroom we are building at our cottage by the perfect lake.
He did not see the measurements written in bright red mere inches above the place you looked to ascertain where the height of the existing floor – the crucial reference point that controls the depth to which the posts are dug.
The posts were dig to the wrong depth. The result? Perfection.
We do so many things like this in life, and are then surprised with the painful results.
We don’t give the unconditional love to children that they need. Later, some become drug addicts. Perfection.
We see people as strange and so different from that they seem barely human to us. So we start a war. Perfection.
We destroy the habitat of the woodland caribou. They are going extinct. Perfection.
We add too much fertilizer to our soil so the run off is rich with nitrogen and phosphorus, fertilizing blooms of algae. … which in the act of decomposition consumes dissolved oxygen, creating dead zones in the oceans where all life is dead. Perfection.
We burn coal rich in sulfur whose combustion gases reacted with water in the atmosphere to create sulfuric or nitric acid which kills lakes and all the fish in them. Perfection.
We [Canada] allow the interest rates to be lower than the rate of inflation to encourage home purchasing, foster the 2nd highest immigration rate in the world, have the lowest number of housing units per 1,000 residents of any G7 country, [the number of housing units per 1,000 Canadians has been falling since 2016 owing to the sharp rise in population growth]. The result is that homes unaffordable for most people and even those who can afford them will be paying for them well past their death bed. Perfection.
Due to covid-19 we reduced or even stopped most social interactions between people, we even banned live AA meetings and schools for young children. Now there are significant Increase in opioid deaths, mental health breakdowns, divorce rates, children being admitted to hospitals due to anorexia and students who have simply given up on school. Perfection.
Here is a true story about a cocaine addict: “Claire has almost no impulse inhibition. She carries immense, chaotic, ever-seething rage in her body and brain. She was raped repeatedly by her father over many years while her mother looked away. She also suffered psychological and physical abandonment from the moment of her birth. When under the influence of her drug of choice – cocaine – she becomes a rage machine, virtually without conscious will.” Perfection.
Proven reserves of many metals are insufficient to build a renewable energy system at the predicted level of global energy demand by 2050.  Thus, without significant changes, including a huge drop in energy demand, renewable technologies cannot ween us off our addiction to oil and stop climate change from destroying our current “cold” world, making a “hothouse” Earth even more probable. Perfection.
It seems that the part of the brain that we see as uniquely human our prefrontal cortex , and in particular the orbitofrontal cortex [OFC], which enables us to balance positive short term objectives with negative long term consequences, is not working very well.
Perhaps it’s time we exhibit some impulse control.
Perhaps it’s time not be surprised by the disturbing news events we see every day.
Perhaps it’s time to take some responsibility for the perfect mess the world.
Perhaps it’s to wonder what about our society is turning off our orbitofrontal cortex.
Because the world is a PERFECT mess.
We made it so.
- In the Realm of the Hungry Gods, Gabor Mate, 2008