Last week, I was watching a Portland Trailblazers playoff game on TV with friends. We were all emotionally invested in seeing our home team win (and they did).
I didn’t know who any of the players were. For all I know, taken as a whole, maybe the other team was more virtuous and deserving. But I didn’t care. I was pulling for “our” team. I live in Portland. Portland is me. I root for Portland.
Of course, there do exist many sports fans who choose to root for teams in distant cities over their own, for a variety of quirky reasons. That’s okay with me. I can still respect such people.
Then again, I know human beings who profess to disapprove of the human race, even opining that it might be best for the rest of the planet if we die out or destroy ourselves sooner than later. They have strong reasons: Millions of other species going extinct as a direct result of human activity, massive forests being cut down, the oceans acidified and dying. (Not to even mention the infinite miseries we inflict on each other.) Humans are a cancer to the planet, they say. The sooner we go, the faster Mama Gaia can recover.
Hence the emergence of groups like the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. They’re hard to argue with logically. But then again, logic is a human invention, perhaps as inevitably flawed and limited in its applicability as any other human invention.
I can see rooting for a different basketball team, even if you’re from Portland. But how can you not root for the human race if you’re a human? Emotionally, I mean. Rooting is all about emotion, not logic.
I’m on the human team. And so are you, if you’re honest with yourself. You are stuck with this team. You’ve been drafted.
Every single human is on this team, with no exceptions. It’s usually hard to see it that way – it requires a profound capacity for forgiveness, just for starters – but maybe that IS the challenge, the struggle, the “game” itself. The only way we can “win” is to accept this team-bound unity and act accordingly.
Or maybe we need to stretch even further. Maybe we’re actually all on the earthbound sentient beings team, and unless we realize THAT identity – and quickly! – we’re on an inexorable course of self-destruction.
The only way to “victory” in this epic “battle” is to strike some kind of harmonic and respectful balance with all earthly beings.
So then whom are we truly battling with? Who is “against” us?
The forces of greed?
Our “lower selves”?
Invisible space aliens?
Why aren’t we winning yet?
Do you have an opinion? Write back to me. Just comment below.