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A Reader Writes by Jack V. Adler: The human condition

April 02, 2002

I sat quietly pondering a question without adequate answer that has haunted my mind for decades.

Why was I born into this world? Why am I here?

Was there a specific purpose, or was it merely happenstance and I really don't belong here? I don't understand humanity; its seeming insanity, the reasons for its existence.

As some wag has said, "All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others."

Perhaps they are created equal, but they are not born equal. All men are different; they are born into different classes of society with different opportunities, inherit different degrees of intelligence and amounts of worldly wealth from their families; all these things negate equality.

Their education and environment will dictate their character, their vocation and the degree of success attained during their life. They will be very much a product of what they are taught at a very early age and the influence exerted upon them by their family and their companions along their way.


We are what we have become and we have become what we are by contributions from all those we have met on our journey through life, from birth to death. No one escapes being influenced by others. Whatever amount of influence is brought to bear upon the individual he can only accept, reject or absorb as dictated by his inherited mental capacity that governs the bent of character, hence his acceptance or rejection by society.

Having knowledge of a certain thing and believing in the truth of that knowledge are two different actions of the mental process. Knowledge in itself will not lead to action unless there is belief in benefit.

When I observe the constructs of the ancients, whether it be in building or the "truths" by which to live, I sometimes feel we have lost more than we have gained. It is depressing to know that much of their building and beliefs climax in the spilling of human blood, but do we not the same? How is it we slaughter our fellow men by the millions and then call it peace?

If we have come so far down the road of progress why is it that the ancient world is filled with mysteries and wonders that we cannot duplicate with the same primitive tools they possessed?

Why do the mass of men not use their individual courage rather than follow like a stampeded herd of buffalo over the precipice of destruction? And why do others come to survey the scene and eulogize their sacrifice, the greatness of their deeds that slaughtered their fellows by the thousands?

To me it is utter insanity on the part of both warring parties. Why is there no use of their mentality to establish peace and maintain it on a worldwide basis? I do not understand.

They say no one wants war, yet they glorify it and instill it in the minds of the young and impressionable along with ancient hatreds, feuds, nationalism and racial prejudice. Such things are the very hotbeds where the seeds of war are sown to germinate and grow the violence that wreaks havoc with civilization. War is the most heinous crime perpetuated upon the body of mankind; yet few are those who refuse to participate out of fear of the rulers, their neighbors, their peers.

Why does it take more courage to say no than go? I do not understand. There seems to be a satanic force at work making them believe that wrong is right and right is might gained by murder of their fellows.

Strange so many things contrary to what is taught as best in our lives are remembered and venerated. Why are we thrilled by the past deeds of criminals, enemies of the law, the gunslingers of the Old West and practically every war ever fought as if the spilling of blood, the robbing of life from others was some heroic deed instead of the despicable act it most certainly was and is?

We teach love and peace, which we loudly proclaim as our desire and pursuit and then enshrine and immortalize the antithesis of those teachings. Why?

The orthodox clergy who voice responsibility for the world's morals are not hesitant to advocate that other side for their purposes. But under the pretext of indispensable leadership they stay cloistered in their ivory towers. Dying for causes is almost the exclusive right of the poor and deprived, as decreed by the elite of leadership.

The veneer of civilization is thin and erupts in barbarism at the slightest provocation. Man is still basically the animal. We know nothing before we are born and nothing after we die, which is exactly what we know in between the two events. We neither know from whence we came nor whence we go.

This world is not perfect nor is anyone in it. Few people if any know why they are here or for what purpose; yet they expect perfection in everything and are never satisfied. If they saw Jesus Christ walking on the waters they would complain that he got his sandals wet.

In this world you are a guest, so act like one and be considerate of your host and his property.

>> JACK V. ADLER is an El Centro resident.

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