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The New Lion and Gazelle
Every day a lion wakes up on the Serengeti
He knows he must outrun the slowest gazelle or he and his family will starve to death.
The slowest gazelle wakes up knowing it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be eaten.
But some lions and gazelles evolved into ‘higher’ forms of life and were able to reflect on their situation.
These animals began to reason, and began to question whether this really made much sense after all.
They asked questions like what is the purpose or point?
Some of these ‘higher’ animals let themselves be caught or allowed themselves finally to starve.
Mostly they struggled with thoughts and feelings and pain, even if they found the will to keep going.
Their fellow animals could not understand these abnormal animals or why they asked such questions.
They accepted the way things were.
But for the ‘higher’ animals, their, having once begun to see with too many eyes,
Their minds could never let them go back.
Even when they were chasing or being chased, they were simultaneously, thinking:
“Why are we doing this? Only to either die or to do the same thing again tomorrow?”
The ‘answer’ “to survive” did not satisfy them.
At the same time, their world changed from one that valued strength, hard work, intelligence, creativity, and even character,
To one that merely required raw, brute efficiency and ability to accept and focus on the narrowest range of what was necessary to survive. The idea of flourishing had long since become passé.
And gradually, some of these more evolved animals could no longer do it.
It stopped making sense, and besides it was insufferably painful, despite all they tried to do to ameliorate the pain.
It made no sense.
Some let themselves die. Others actually caused their own death, which they saw as a rational act – indeed, an act in furtherance of the survival instinct in its own right in the face of unceasing suffering.
These were looked down upon, pitied, marginalized, and naturally this made things worse for them.
Their ranks would have thinned, but an increasing number began to awaken to what they had realized.
The normal majority still didn’t understand their strange, ‘destructive’ ideas.
It was thought they needed to be treated and cured from this disease.
Indeed, they did need help, but the ideas and feelings were not the kinds of things that could be unseen or put away.
The strong lions and gazelles continued to hunt and be hunted, proceeding along this normal course and in certain ways preying upon the ‘weaker’ ones who stopped to contemplate things called ‘questions’
Time would tell how the society would come to grapple with these disparate ways of thinking and living.
It might be that over time, most of the lions and gazelles would come to understand the different way of thinking and relating to the world and learn to coexist.
But the world still operated on a **** or be killed ethic, which didn’t leave much time or resources for pondering, let alone accommodating the ‘weaker’ set.
And so things continued even as they slowly also changed.
It gradually became clear that many of those who were the ‘strongest’ in the pride or the herd actually had developed some of this ‘weaker’ way of thinking too.
And this, began to change things, ever so gradually.
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Thank you...really appreciate you taking the time to read and reply.
This was pretty interesting to read. Have you ever considered writing as a hobby? For some it serves to help express their feelings and alleviate their stress.
Thanks. I used to write. More during my school years. Yes, I'd love to and I still try to when I can, although it has been a long time since I've had the mental focus. This is a terrible problem for me - I have essentially acquiesced to TV, movies, internet and media. It is a form of either compulsion or addiction, as it is always more immediate.
Anyway, I do know there is always opportunity to pick it back up, so I much appreciate your words of encouragement here.