Aside: Change

Evolution has always fascinated me, for as long as I can remember grasping the concept. Humanity is constantly shifting, altering its intellectual stance on all manner of topics, but the physical process of change is painfully slow. Ironically, we have begun to attempt to accelerate that development for ourselves as a result, clearly possessing no patience or indeed foresight, and genetic engineering is likely to cause a fair deal of contention in the years that follow. I’ve read enough science fiction to know how badly that can go, and sometimes I wonder if perhaps we’d be better served as a human race accepting that things just happen for a reason and maybe trying to change them is impractical.

This a dilemma I’m having quite a lot of late.

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Unless it’s you that’s affected, it is often easier to not grasp just how important hope can be to people when its offered. I’ve never been in that situation before, and am *very* grateful that’s never happened, but were I to find myself with those kinds of decisions? Yes, I’d take an experimental treatment in a heartbeat to extend my life. Mostly however you have to not just think of yourself, and realise that evolution means that millions and millions and billions of people died before you did to get us out of caves, into metal ships, and eventually to the stars. You may be just one person, but enough people have passed before me to make this path significant. If you look at the bigger picture, which so many people fail to do, there is the understanding eventually that actually, one person can make the difference. As soon as one person survives the treatment? There’s evidence to help them understand why, just as there is when another passes away. Nothing is a waste if you make it matter.

That’s why I find entitlement culture increasingly galling.

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I see it a lot in gaming, and its not (as many would have you believe) simply the preserve of the ‘white man,’ although for comedy purposes increasingly that’s where it’s best represented. I am sure there’s a lot of extremely entitled young women out there, and grumpy old women, with all manner of sexual orientations. It’s just easier to lump your ire on an easily identifiably demographic and have done with it. Yes, you deserve to be paid for what you do, and you have a right to be treated with respect if you work hard, but I hate to break it to many people but that’s not the whole story. Sometimes you do things and don’t expect a reward. Occasionally it isn’t about balancing the obvious set of scales. There’s a distinct lack of empathy in a lot of these equations and the default, inevitably, comes down to feeling aggrieved and hard done by. Sometimes you give and know full well there is no reward to be had, but that doesn’t stop the process. In fact, often it is the ability to give without the need for reward that progresses the process of evolution far more than those who expect there to be a payback for every action.

Most importantly, learning to understand yourself is a really rather huge deal. Change is possible, even in the most seemingly intractable of individuals. The problem for many is that they seem to think that what they are isn’t capable of any alteration. They’re ‘built a certain way’ or they ‘don’t know how to think differently’ and that’s the end of the discussion. ‘Arguing’ with these people normally ends up the same way every time, and you’d be best to ‘love them the way they are’ except I know that’s bollocks. I’m living proof that change can happen if you want it. Yes, I’m not like you at all, and I have no right to suggest you’re capable of evolving when I know nothing about you.

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That’s also bollocks too. If you want to change, you’re capable. That’s your choice, and it can happen. The biggest single issue with humanity undoubtedly is that we only see ourselves, and very rarely grasp the bigger picture. Those who are capable of stepping back and grasping that, are the ones that history will remember as the real movers and shakers, the true embracers of evolutionary theory without scientific intervention. If you truly believe you’re incapable of change? Take another look, if only with the realisation that once you hit a certain age you might both physically and mentally become incapable of making a difference to your own mortality.

Change doesn’t have to scare you, but it will. Time to face your fears and move past them.