This I Believe

Jennie - Harbor Springs, Michigan
Entered on October 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I Believe in Decline and Decay

In America we are bombarded with the idea of progress. Our communities must improve, children develop, technology advance, and retirement funds increase. We are told that humankind is becoming more intelligent and our bodies are developing to perfection. While this is promising to our self-esteem, we are brainwashed. I believe that the natural course is toward decline and decay.

Do our houses become cleaner by themselves? Do dilapidated buildings slowly become more beautiful? Of course not! Our houses lapse into disarray; our buildings fall apart. I think of the castles and churches I visited in Ireland. Near those that stood tall and stately were the ruins of others — worn rocks and boulders — jutting out of the glowing green landscape at peculiar angles. Why had these architectural delights returned to boring, ugly rocks? Those with tours had been meticulously maintained for centuries, while you tripped over the remains of the abandoned and forgotten.

The Law of Entropy, the second scientific law of thermodynamics, explains this concept: Anything which is organized tends, with time, to become disorganized. Albert Einstein viewed this as the premier law of all science. Entropy is also a doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration. Nothing explodes into order, but into disorder and chaos. For something to be neat, it must be painstakingly arranged.

Another way that disorder is apparent is in communities. Advancement in

technology has led to less human contact, simplified criminal scheming, to mention some. Precious human life is wiped out and mistreated, from killing babies to molestation. Educationally, we seem more concerned about hurting someone’s feelings than we are with encouraging growth and knowledge. You can’t say “You’re a failure – try again.” The Army still understands despite: Pain is weakness leaving the body. It isn’t beneficial to cater to the ego. It’s simply aiding the disintegration process. Considering this, what happens to the myth of human progress? It disappears and brings much into perspective: society – going downhill; nature, and natural resources – steadily decaying and dying; and humans – both socially and physically ebbing to dysfunction.

We understand what happens to the untended. What about the tended? If there is human energy maintaining our world, do things stay the same? No! Even when well-tended, they will eventually decay. If everyone in the world recycled milk jugs and tin cans, the earth would still fall apart. We are compelled to see the bigger picture, and acknowledge a higher authority. This acknowledgement affects what you do and who you are. I do things that will count in the long run, influencing those around me for the better. I’m calmer when I keep this belief in mind: No swearing because dinner burned, no procrastinating about schoolwork, no attacking everyone because I’m grumpy. Looking at the bigger picture, none of it really matters. Effort is good, but everyday details should not occlude our view of the eternal.