The Nature of Adaptation

Dana - Lincoln, Nebraska
Entered on March 28, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: nature

I believe the meek inherit the Earth because the proud fail to adapt. I like proud people and count myself among their ranks. Yet I cannot ignore that with pride of person and purpose comes the tendency to cling to aspects of ourselves and our society that are no longer beneficial.

Animals in general don’t seem to take as much issue with adaptation. A couple of years ago my husband and I moved into a neighborhood that was developed 80 years ago and is not even remotely rural. Coming home from the grocery store one day, we were surprised to see wild turkeys strutting up the neighbor’s driveway. Subsequent observations revealed that the turkeys roosted at the nearby golf course and apparently dined at squirrel feeders.

In many cities it is not uncommon to see falcons nesting downtown and foxes hunting rabbits in the neighborhood park. These animals give me hope that in their adaptability, Nature will survive. Humans, for all of our intelligence, energy, and creativity seem to adjust to changing conditions more slowly. I believe the difference in adaptability between animals and humans mostly boils down to pride.

Please don’t mistake me. Pride is an essential element to individuals, communities, and nations, but when holding onto our identity keeps us from changing for the better, pride becomes detrimental. So if I need to learn a lesson from the falcon, the fox—and yes, even the turkey—I will. I will reexamine the concepts and habits that make me who I am today and let the out-dated fall away. I will make that sacrifice because I hope that with the vacated space I can shift perspectives, consider new ideas, and make a future with just the right amount of meekness.

Hopefully that doesn’t involve sleeping at the golf course. The turkeys, flaunting their capacity for change, have moved on. I think about them though when I consider the challenges facing our world, and the big birds with the tiny brains continue to inspire me.