This I Believe

Sam - Riverview, Florida
Entered on November 21, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe existence is a Process. How this Life Process was somehow triggered billions of years ago I do not know. Nor do I care.

For as long as I can remember, I have been “process oriented.” The logic that “things” don’t just appear – that they are the result of some action or manipulation or activity – has continually piqued my interest. I parlayed this curiosity into a career where my focus has been the improvement of work processes and, subsequently, better “things”.

I have found there to be some sort of inherent ability for processes to improve themselves over time. They seem to automatically evolve into a better state. The dynamics within any given process seem to dictate that new and better activities which make processes more efficient and/or effective are implemented – either proactively or by chance. (I am much more efficient at mowing my lawn now than the first time I tried it). I believe it follows that the same goes for the Life Process. Since the beginning, it has been refining and improving itself. Inefficient and ineffective things or actions or items that added no value have ceased to be and have been replaced or rendered obsolete because they did not help better the process.

While exploring her new globe with my granddaughter, I noticed there were no lines. As we spun the orb, we saw the continents, oceans, rivers and lakes . . . but we saw no lines. There were no signs of separation between countries or languages or traditions or religions. Just the earth.

We talked about the lines or, rather, where the lines would be. I showed her where several different countries would be if the globe had lines. I mentioned that, all together, there are about 200 different countries on the globe. About 200 sets of lines marking the different territories. Then the questions began: “Who put the lines there?” “When?” And the inevitable . . . “Why?”

The answers I gave her were elementary enough to satisfy her curiosity and get her youthful attention focused onto another toy. But her questions remained with me.

The continuously improving Life Process at some point generated humans who were eventually compelled to draw lines. History books relate the different times and reasons the lines were drawn. Some of the reasons for drawing lines were to perhaps say to other humans “This area belongs to us – not you”, or “You seem different”, or “You don’t think like we do”, or “You pray differently”.

Does the existence of lines further the Life Process? I do not know. Current events seem to indicate the lines are not contributing to its improvement. Obviously, it is not the lines themselves, but how the people inside these lines interact with the people inside those lines.

There is what seems to be a never-ending argument over which skin color is better or which book is the “real one”. And, sadly, the Process has evolved to where those arguments can now be waged with weapons of mass destruction.

Would it be more beneficial to Life Process if the human element continued along this evolutionary path and eventually killed itself off? All the accelerating negative aspects associated with the human element would perhaps cease which may have a natural positive effect on the Life Process. It seems to me a more value added and proactive effort to further the process, and perhaps save the species, would be for humans – ALL humans — to become tolerant of those outside their lines.

I believe the grand Life Process will continue to evolve toward a better, more effective existence. I fear, however, that unless mankind quickly begins to exhibit an understanding and tolerance for others, humans will not be here to witness it.