Thursday, November 29, 2012

Every Man an Adam

Beautiful, but filled with pitfalls and danger.
Imagine yourself in a wilderness of solitude. High rocky mountain peaks jut up from the rolling valley surrounding you. High overhead--above the towering tree tops--you hear the eerie squawk of birds engaged in battle against each other. Below, somewhere nearby, you hear growls, gnashing, shrieks of pain. In the distance, a dark treacherous storm thunders directly toward you. You have nothing to protect yourself besides whatever you can find or fashion from nature. What do you, the person reading this post, do? Where will you make shelter? How do you plan to feed yourself? What is your plan for avoiding being devoured yourself?

John Locke
In true Lockean fashion, to get to heart of this scenario, lets boil it down to the basic elements. Rather than looking at mankind as a whole, we will narrow our focus to the individual... one man, alone in nature. If the man is to survive, he must be self-sufficient and a critical-thinker who sees a problem and is able to devise a solution. This man can rely on no one. No infrastructure has been created. No one else (at this point) is around with whom to interact. How does this solitary individual (you, if you are still picturing yourself in this scenario) keep from going insane? After all, no one wants to be like Rousseau from LOST, right?

Day in, day out what does this first man do? Build, hunt and gather? Perhaps he also studies the wildlife around him. Does he develop any interest in music or visual representations of the world of his experiences?

*  *  *  *  *

FAST FORWARD: This Adam has encountered a woman (Don't worry... the post "Every Woman an Eve" is forthcoming). As the only two humans around, 'Adam' and 'Eve' are naturally drawn to each other. They are both curious of and attracted to each other.

Getting to know each other's personality and strengths, the two of them conclude they work well as a team. Adam, or you in this setting, is now responsible to protect himself and the woman he loves. Adam not only loves Eve, he cherishes her and respects her for her compassion, her tenderness, her beauty and countless other strengths and traits that make her who she is.

However, with a new social development, Adam now has to double most of the efforts he put into survival before they had met. He now hunts for two. The couple requires additional space in their shelter. The clothing they wear to protect against the elements must now come in two sizes. To put it simply, Adam now has real responsibilities.

Of course this is just the beginning. Eventually, Adam and Eve have offspring. With each new mouth comes the need for another ration of food. Behind every mouth is the heart and soul of a new, rational living creature. Adam and Eve become role models and teachers. Inherent in who they are as humans, Adam and Eve desire very much to nurture and mold their children into productive and healthy people...

*  *  *  *  *

Lets tie this thing all together now. Hopefully, there is an obvious application to each of our modern day lives. As men, husbands, fathers and citizens, are we capable of adequately providing for our own livelihood and the well being of our families? If we didn't have all the previous generations' work to build on, would we be able to survive? Do we have the curiosity that fuels ingenuity? If faced with a roadblock of some sort, can we, human men nearly in 2013, assess the problem and design a reliable and effective solution? Or will the obstacle inhibit our forward progress?

Baroque Oboe
Hopefully it isn't too late for us as a whole or as 
individuals. Perhaps we all need to make time to develop some basic engineering skills. Possibly, we can set aside time to develop auxiliary talents, like learning to play a musical instrument (I like the ukulele and the oboe). In our busy lives, I wonder if forcing time for periodic intellectual stimulation will make us stronger men and better people to be around. The best question may be: If you are not the man you wish to be, what steps must you take to become that man

As you work to that end, you will be a better example to your children, your co-workers, your neighbors, but more importantly you will demonstrate to yourself and your loved ones that you can set goals and achieve them. And by so doing, you will have bettered your world to that degree. Men, be an Adam and exercise the basic virtues of self-sufficiency and curiosity/critical thinking. Don't leave yours or your family's welfare up to others. Be the bread-winner. Be, in tandem with your wife, the first and best source of education and training for your children. It will make them stronger and happier.

 DISCLAIMER: Although Biblical names are used in this piece, they do not represent the actual Adam and Eve, but the theoretical first woman and first man in an abstract parallel.

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