Sunday, August 29, 2010

I will survive

Well, yesterday is over and, thank heavens, today is better. The hate-mongering anti-ICM site of Facebook has been taken down after they were contacted by a lawyer concerning the threats made towards the people in MTRF (Middle Tennesseans for Religious Freedom), those of us in MTRF have all put up posts about how we won't be intimidated and won't return hate for hate, and better than that someone who used to spread Islamaphobia has come to us all, begging for forgiveness and saying she was wrong. She just became my personal hero of the day.

My chest is still hurting from being so angry yesterday though, and now I'm trying to decide if it's residual anger, tightness from the cough I have from my bout of chicken pox (yay for me, at 25 having chicken pox for the 2nd or 3rd time depending on which family member you talk to, I don't remember having them before at all), or if it's the same problem with my heart that my neurologist noted the last time I was there. Not that it really matters, any of the above it hurts.

But chicken pox, heart problems, and brain diseases aside, I find myself looking at today and wondering exactly what the future brings, thinking about people and the passions that drive them, and knowing no matter what, I will survive.

I'm not saying I'm going to live forever, let's not be stupid here, but what matters is the ideas that make me up will never go away. Any idea, no matter how ignorant or how inspired, must be shared in order for it to survive. Call it intellectual Darwinism if you will, those ideas that touch the most are the ones that make it to the next generation, and, on occasion, the generation after that. So as long as my ideas are being shared, as long as there are people who will remember what I said, even if it's stupid, as long as there are people who feel the way I do about doing what is right in the face of the many who tell you to do what is wrong, I will survive.

My background is in Anthropology, the study of humans and human culture, a field based almost entirely on Darwinian ideas; I've often said that the only place that Darwinism and religion overlap (other than the idea that we are human and we are here, now) is where the Bible says "be fruitful and multiply", and the Survival of the Fittest says that the being with the best evolved advantage of surviving a certain climate is the one who will share the most DNA via its descendants, and thus increase the evolution of the species. In other words, the only purpose of life is to create more life.

Now, will my medical problems, it's almost impossible for me to have kids, and what's more, I'm not sure I want kids. Set aside the fact that I'm someone who enjoys being on their own (with the exclusion of a few people) and I want time for my thoughts to solidify in my mind (time that usually involves silence or relative quite), the fact of the matter is I'm pretty sure I'm someone who shouldn't have children. All things being equal (which of course they aren't), unless there is a miracle in curing what ails me, I wouldn't be a good mother. Some days I'm angry for no reason, some days I can barely move because of how much it hurts to breathe; there are days that I feel fine, and days I can't get out of bed at all. Beyond the fact that most, if not all, of what I have is genetic in origin and very likely to be passed down (which is entirely unacceptable in my mind), no kid deserves a mother who can only be a mother part of the time.

And, all respect to Darwin and DNA, the fact of the matter is how much of our DNA actually decides who we are? Okay, so mine has decided I'm going to suffer quite a bit apparently, but when did DNA decide that even when I can barely walk straight from dizziness and my heart feels like a giant stone trying to shove its way through my chest, that I will still be worried about things like religious freedom and science fiction stories? Does DNA decide who becomes a Hitler, or who becomes a Gandhi? Does DNA decide that my favorite color will be purple, or that I think the changing of the seasons, leaves gold and red on the hillsides south of town are the most beautiful thing I've ever seen?

Experience determines who we are more than DNA, experience and the ideas that we gather and form as experience refines a person from who they once were to who they are and who they can be. So while I probably won't ever leave my genetic imprint on the world, at least I can hope, as long as I'm typing things like this, talking to others, and putting my ideas where people can see them, that I will survive.

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