Yesterday I saw a squirrel crossing a telephone line. It was a very little thing but it reminded me of how species adapt to their environment, if they don’t adapt they die, they become extinct. When suburbia started taking over all the forest and woodlands, creatures that we see everday had to adapt, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels, birds, racoon’s, possum’s, skunks etc. No matter how much the squirrels may have bitched that we were invading their land, it wouldn’t have done them any good. Instead we find them eating out of our trash, chilling out on roofs, and yes even using telephone lines as a way of transportation, many times a shortcut. In short, they adapted. As a nation we went from being an agricultural economy to the industrial revolution. When Eli Whitney created the cotton machine that could do the work of 15-20 men, it put those very men out of work, we had to adjust, and we did. We became a manufacturing nation. All the farmers had to adjust, had to learn new traits, and thus began a new way of life. Recently the computer begot a technology revolution that made us adjust once again. The computer made many things automated think as simple as elevator buttons, before there use to be an elevator attendant, that made that career extinct. The computer did computations in seconds that took days to do, it stored in one inch what a warehouse could barely fit, and it has automated damn near everything. We went from being a manufacturer nation to a leader in technology and service. We are now a service nation, many things if not already are being built 100% abroad. This affects Michigan more than 99% of the nation, since our state relied more on manufacturing than any other state. We have one of the highest unemployment rates, highest foreclosures, highest bankruptcy filings. We are facing very hard times. Yet, it doesn’t feel that way. We eat better than the highest kings hundreds years ago, we have food and shelter, nice cars, vacation homes, leisure time, quality relationships, booze money, and lots of toys. Sure, maybe we don’t have as many or as nice as we did 10 years ago, but we are definitely getting by. They say it can only go up from here, well it’s still not terrible. Us Americans are pretty spoiled, but still if we can’t adapt to the changes a global market brings, we will fall from being the leader, and have to learn a few new things, competition makes one better, and for our sake Michigan and the rest of our nation can do much better.
My friend Mario went to Europe for three weeks and just got back about a week ago. He went to a couple weddings and spent a lot of the time doing family things. He was originally born in Poland and then his family moved here. Seeing pictures of his trip and hearing stories made me realize how different not only Europe was, but the rest of the world, even our very own families. Finding out where we came from really intrigues me. I know my mom’s side pretty well, but I really know nothing about dad’s side. I know my fathers dad owned a farm, he was a rice farmer. He might’ve never actually been to the city either. Could you imagine a life where you got married in your teens, 14 or 15, took over the farm raised your family and that was your legacy. I could never imagine a life that simple. Yet, I’m sure those were some of the happiest people on earth. I bet they could never imagine the life we live, a lot of the times I just think our socio-economic culture is so shallow, materialistic. Most of my friends are into designer names, brand names, entertainment magazines, really nothing relevant to our own life, or at least to trying to make the world a better place. And I’m really no different, just trying to keep up with the Jones’s. But sometimes when you wonder about life, you wonder is there more out there. Is there something I know nothing about. I’m sure there is. It intrigues me to think how a life can be so different than mine. Whether growing up in the hood and having to sell drugs as the only means of making it, or just living your entire life on the farm. Or maybe finally becoming famous and realizing it never made you happy, and you turn to drugs and alcohol as your crutch to through life. One life to live, that’s all we have.