Two million years ago our ancestors that had evolved binary vision and opposable thumbs that served them well in the trees started spending more time on the ground to exploit a niche that by learning to coordinate individual behavior together in more strategic ways beneficial to the group, became a catalyst for socialization that altered not only our actions but our very faces. Huddled around campfires at night it became important enough to assess the emotional state of the other members of the group in order to harmonize, that humans have not only developed the most complex facial muscular structure of any known animal, in order to express our array of emotions, but also the ability to instantly know the emotional state of others by looking at their face, from infancy. It follows that we learned compassion from our prowess at empathy, There have been excavations of our primordial campsites that include the remains of those who had aged to the point of having lost all of their teeth yet were not only fed by the more able bodied, but ate food that was chewed up and given to them for there was no other way they would have survived at that time. Humans evolved a greater capacity for love, strong enough to expend labor and resources on those no longer able to contribute to the well being of the group in material ways. The enlargement of our frontal lobes gave us the ability to synthesize new behaviors that allowed us to adapt and flourish in new and changing environments, changes of individual and collective behavior in a single lifetime as opposed to the rest of the species changing behavior through generational transfer of successful instinctive intelligence. Our plasticity in behavior is moderated however by our value of experience, that we tend to stick with tried and true behavior throughout our lives, yet this ingrained limiting factor is offset between generations. Having started life in a drastically different set of circumstances, the new iteration of self finds what the previous generation thought to be wrenching change, normal for it’s own set of experience. Therein lies the hope of survival of mankind. We are a complex group that varies the balance of stasis and dynamics not only across the range of the current 7 billion plus people that are alive at this moment, but more so throughout the ongoing collective of regenerating individuals over the span of our spawn.
I have no doubt that I will witness some of the most portentous upheaval in all the time of humans. I am a participant foremost and have the mindset that I will draw from my heritage and my experience the strengths to express love for my extended tribe and through my actions will leave a legacy that will live on through as of yet unborn generations, that from my standpoint are doomed to the ravages of a wounded planet. I take solace that what appears to me as impending calamity will be seen as another beautiful day by beautiful children that grow proportionately to this existential challenge and turn the brutal lessons of humanity’s shortcomings into wisdom and healing, fomenting an elegant balance wherein our consciousness not only survives but thrives.