This I Believe

George - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism

It is my impression that we are humans: biological miracles, like the rest of the organisms on this planet. We are the continuation of a never-ending series of chemical reactions that started several million years ago. Humans are doubly miraculous because we contain the mental capacity to comprehend the miraculous-ness of this all. We are a biting fighting species that sexually procreates, resulting in an offspring that waxes at the thralldom of his biological clock. In flesh we are so biological, but in our minds we sit high above the crown that rules the animal kingdom.

When our bodies need nourishment, we get hungry, but those who reject this occurrence of nature take pills to suppress hunger. When we work ourselves too hard, our body begins to ache to tell us to slow down, but those who must continue take pills to suppress their pains. Evolution has always worked in a way in which the organism adapts to the world around it. Because of our swift intellectual progress, and our slow evolutionary process, we have adapted the world to us. If possessing the capabilities, scientists would undoubtedly change the human genome to better suit the world we have created. It would be possible to stay up without needing to sleep, to smoke harmlessly, to eat without taking on pounds; the human being would become a flawless product of science; humans would drift away from being the products of millions of years of evolution into being the products of yesterday’s genetic manipulations. Every day the human race wakes up to find itself further from its naturally intended existence. As this gap between what we were and what we make ourselves widens, we find the need to fill that gap. Until we can change human instinct, we will become a society of the depressed and confused, missing the lifestyle that our minds are born to expect.

The rift formed by our detachment from nature is not a clean break on the banks of our natural existence; the coast is rocky, and no simple or even perfectly calculated remedy can be fashioned to patch this gap. The only thing pure enough, perfect enough, and most importantly natural enough, to patch the fissure, to save us from ourselves, is art. Art is derived from our innermost feelings; its effects on the human mind are incalculable. Art can be traced back the beginnings of the realization of our existence. We created religion to explain our existence. Religion bridged the gap between the logical human mind, and natural instinct. From religion arose art; music was used for passing down tales, myths, religion. Drawings preceded written word as a means of writing down stories. As the gap between nature and the contemporary human widened, art changed to meet the needs of that gap. Art is changing, getting more abstract, just as we are getting more abstractly human. Thus, I believe that art is the only thing that keeps us from losing our sanity over being human.