That's the power of the Smilie-blade
Posted on March 25, 2012 at 16:04
Perhaps this isn't a very pertinent blog, but then again society's outlook on the world affects us all, especially those to whom it falls to keep the populous satisfied through art and entertainment. Also, I have noticed many sad faces around here lately and I hope I can give you all a smile or at least something with which you can fight the dark image we have of ourselves. …And now my brain is running off with images of everyone as Link/Sora -esk people fighting their shadow-selves with the blade of emoticon smilies. You swing your blade, your shadow-self falls to its knees and you say “…” or “That’s the power of the smile-blade” (I should probably concentrate shouldn’t I? Yeah, sorry). It’s not that I haven’t been having my own depressing matters: my ex dropping me like so many Skype calls to date his ex and then calling me after ignoring my existence for three months (“Go stub your toe, and may all your bacon burn”) or being presented with the possibility of not having all of my credits to graduate on time (I would say histology should die, but then none of the cells in my body would work :/).
Anyway, most of you don't know that I am a senior in college, about to graduate, hopefully, with a degree in biology and I plan to go for a masters in animal behavior as well. Why does this matter? Well, it means that I actually pay attention in classes like Ecology and Behavior (as opposed to sleeping through genetics and bio-chemistry; honestly, I tried to stay awake but they were just so tedious most of the time).
While sitting in class the other day, my professor stated something that struck me with its implications.
"Natural selection promotes what works, not necessarily what is most efficient. An organism may have a process that allows it to survive but also has negative impacts. This may seem counter-intuitive; however, the environment may change as a result and that process will no longer be favored."
Now, I know many of you are probably rolling your eyes right now at spouting something that is clearly upper level biology gibberish, but allow me to translate:
Nature is not perfect. It does not necessarily even promote perfection. It supports organisms that are equally fallible and liable to make more of an impact than would be ideal. Humans in general fit in this idea perfectly; we are clearly the dominant species on the planet, the epitome of survival-ship, and yet we sometimes do this at the expense of the environment. However.... is that bad?
So, this is what made my little brain-bulb shine like Christmas: What if humans aren't the parasite to this world that many seem to believe. It is merely just our turn to make what we can of this planet and its resources. If we fall by injuring this planet, it will still be here and there will still be life without us. It will out-survive us in the end. The human race has done and created some beautiful things (“love you elevators and cheese cake”), there is no doubt that in some ways we make this world a better place.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying go out and burn the forests because fire is shiny. I would be one of the first to punch someone in the face for starting a forest fire ("There were bats living in that tree, A-hole!") I am merely suggesting that our outlook on our own impact may almost be too negative. There is a balance between using and wasting that people often tend to be on the extremes of ("No, your drive to work is not going to smother the trees and yes, throwing your damn cigarette butt out the windows does result in fires"). So, find the middle ground. What humanity has done and is capable of on this planet is remarkable and it is not yet time to give up on us as the 'doom' of this world. We have more to accomplish.
This also applies on an individual level in my mind. If perfection is only a thing of the divine then should we really yearn so much after perfection? I think it says more for us to be the best we can be/ do the best work we can do while still remembering that we have our faults that make us who we are. I'd take a good character that has faults he tries to overcome over one who seems perfect any day in any form of entertainment. I'd choose a song with character over one that is the 'ideal' of its genre. I'd choose a game where the character trips up (why Brawl, why?) over one where you have the power from the beginning with nothing to work at.
So I say, throw off the part of society that seeks perfection and instead build upon yourself. Do not let society bury you in its desire for perfection, take the natural route and be a wonderful, screwed up, dynamic, insane, but none the less surviving human being. Be a good person, but be you; do it in your own way. More importantly, make sure you aren’t expecting everyone around you to be perfect, that just hurts everyone.
…and Link/Sora stands tall, watching the shadow creature dissolve into nothing, knowing that this was only a step on the path to Zelda/Kiri. They may have beaten their own dark sides but there are still approximately 10 more bosses to kill and then Gannon/Ansem to defeat. With his hearts intact (for now) he starts for his next goal… (Don’t you love extended metaphors, my brain apparently does).
Ps. Try for a smile today. I may not know many of you, but just the fact that you are a human being bending under the weight of the world along with me is enough for me to feel a connection with you. Know I feel for you.
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