When If we self-destruct as a species it will be because we let our ingenuity rule. And why not? It was our pluck that gave us our advantage in evolving away from the lesser creatures. Our smarts have enabled us to keep the wolf from the door, make our lives more productive and more comfortable, give us an edge over lessers of our kind, launch us to the heavens and even question the heavens themselves.
It is our wit that allows us to pretend we are wise.
When we've reached the edge of wisdom itself, only then are the follies of our journey supposed to come into focus so that we recognize the habits we've picked up along the way are not good and not easily shaken and that it's taken us so long to get there we might be too late.
I know this and yet my limbic entreaties invariably get dibs for my attention and it's usually a struggle to address them with reason instead of its more amenable imposter, rationalization. Unfortunately the latter too often prevails.
One of the hardest yet easiest things for me to do is to trust. Someone agrees with me, is friendly, accommodating, seems humble, good-humored, intelligent and asks nothing of me in return. I'm hooked. Someone disagrees, is cold, aloof, caustic, intelligent and asks nothing of me. I'm likely to respond in kind.
I've been burned too often by the former and have come often, and often too late to be graceful about it, to know the other as more worthy of my friendship and respect.
We reach a certain age and we're expected to have made it to the rarified air of wisdom. Unfortunately too often this is mostly all it is - air. One advantage in reaching a presumed maturity is that it does become easier to recognize the mistakes we've made and to see around us without the distractions of a younger self, preoccupied with competition and the prospect of a limitless future. Our limits by then have become all too clear.
Would that we as a generation reach such a point of understanding in our existence while still having the energy and heart to keep the wolf from the door so the generations behind us can still find promise in a future worth the struggle.