FROM “IN DEFENSE OF RURAL AMERICA”
by Ron Ewart, ©2015, President, NARLO
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At night, as the soft padded paws of the great predator stop in a jungle clearing and the eyes of the giant feline look up into the night sky to witness a streak of light passing before the stars, does the big cat “wonder” as to what the light streak might mean, or from whence it came, or what caused it to emit light, or what is it made of, or why is it there at that precise moment? Does he ponder as to whether the streak of light was in front of the other points of light, in between the points of light or behind the points of light? Does he guess as to how far away the streak might be or how fast it is going? Does he have a concept of time, speed, distance, or light? Maybe. Probably not.
However, does a little boy or girl witnessing the same event ask those questions? Some do, and it’s that “some” that has vaulted the hunter- gatherers of thousands of years ago to a point in time where the answers to the questions of who, what, where, when, why and how have allowed man to press ever onward and outward on a preordained destiny that will lead him, albeit haltingly, to the stars and to the infinitely small depths of matter and energy.
Probably wrapped up in the DNA molecule, locked in each cell of contemporary humans, is a gene, not yet isolated, containing chemical protein that may be radically different than the genes in the DNA molecules in all living things on Earth. No matter that it may have taken millions of years for that one gene to appear along the evolutionary stream. No matter that its appearance may have been a total random act of nature, a freak, a mutation, or that somehow it was divinely ordained. But that gene, or a combination of genes, created a path for man that has led him, in 5,000 years, to the brink of jumping off this once infinitely large planet, into the Solar System and on into the galaxy and then to the Universe. How exciting to be at the bottom of the staircase of that climb and “wonder” what we might find.
All animal and plant life on Earth has one overriding prime directive that takes precedence over all others: self-preservation by survival and procreation. Almost 100 percent of the effort to survive by any non-human living thing is expended towards preservation and procreation. That prime directive is programmed into the chemistry of all living things.
Man is also endowed with this programming, nor would he have survived this long without it. However, mixed in with all of the other pre-programmed directives is the one emotion that is the catalyst for the drive that has taken him to the point where he is no longer the slave to his environment but has become a net changer-controller of the environment. Some say this may be his undoing, but our instinct says not.
Whatever the gene or gene combination that crystallizes the emotion of “wonder” to well up inside certain humans may one day be isolated. Its isolation may be a milestone in the short term, but the effect of the gene is much more important than the cause or specific location in the DNA molecule. For it is the effect of “wonder” that will have empowered man to accomplish that very isolation.
It is the effect of “wonder” that allows the young (especially the young), the less fortunate, the intellectual, the rich, or even the poor and almost all members of the human race, at some time, to look at, hear, feel, or touch some particular event, or a thing, or a happening and be amazed, be awed, be ferociously curious, be astonished, be surprised, shocked, or bewildered. The triggered emotion resulting from that “wonder” drives man in a totally different way than his warm and cold-blooded Earth mates. Anyone without this sense of “wonder” is not fully alive.
The causes of wonder are, without a doubt, infinite. However, the result of selective “wonder” has uncovered the laws of thermodynamics, the law of gravity, quantum theory, the theory of relativity, the four distinct forces in nature, archaeology, biology, zoology, paleontology and all of the other “ologies.” Selective “wonder” has led us to an understanding of our bodies and the inner workings of our brains that has resulted in modern medicine and the behavioral sciences. It has truly helped us find our “point of reference” in the Universe, as we know it today.
As the human population grew and selective “wonder” evolved, and writing and printing allowed the selective “wonder” to be dispersed to an ever-increasing audience, information about our life, the planet Earth, the Sun, the Solar System, the Cosmos and the microscopic world increased at an exponential rate. Each new discovery was built on the last, the speed of discovery always accelerating.
“Wonder” and the path to selective “wonder” are predominantly spontaneous in humans. The act or emotion of “wonder” may also exist in animals, but their ability to communicate that wonder in a language we humans understand is severely limited, if it exists at all.
But each one of us, sometime in our life, no matter what our situation might be, has experienced spontaneous “wonder.” Whether as a child, teenager, young or mature adult, the ability and emotion of “wonder” resides in all of us. The emotion may be fleeting or long-lasting. It may reside in a childhood memory or it may lead some of us into the path of selective “wonder.” In the final analysis, it is that same innocent “wonder” that will be our inevitable salvation. Some may argue otherwise, but they are surely wrong.
No one has truly experienced a full life if they have not seen, in the soft, shining face of a young boy or girl, the awe of an event that the child has not seen before. Or had to answer the flood of questions that the “wonder” of the event releases.
That precious “wonder” flourishes in a free society of individual rights. It dies when squelched and squeezed into oblivion by an all-powerful, abusive, tyrannical government or radical ideology. It is our firm hope and prayer that we as individuals and as a society will foster that “wonder” in all ages, but especially our children. They and their “wonder” and their energy are truly our last great hope.
But without individual freedom the smile on their innocent faces turns to frowns, despondency and the loss of hope and their bodies shrivel up and become emaciated, when they are subjected to the hell that is slavery, war, poverty, famine, or worse. We saw those frowns on the faces of the Syrian refugees fleeing their homeland. Sure, there is evil in the world, as we saw in Paris a week ago, but the goodness in man triumphs over that evil, time and time again.
Ever since man first burned himself with fire and realized he could use it to his advantage, or transported some object by rolling a log and converted that idea to the wheel, he has been forever driven towards more knowledge, more understanding and a wider, larger, broader world in which he can explore. To do that he simply must go faster and he must develop the machines to achieve the ever-increasing speeds he will need to reach his goals.
We are going to the stars one day and nothing anybody can do will get in our way. The strength, power, creativity and spirit of the incomparable individual will carry us there. Yes, the world is a mess and America is less free than it was, but those people who possess the Joy of Wonder in their minds will rise above it all and lead us to man’s destiny on his path to the stars.
Some day in the not-too-distant future, we are going to develop power sources that will literally boggle the mind. Our prediction is that each home, each office, each business or building will have its own centralized power unit. And that unit will have the source of energy to purify our drinking water, destroy our raw sewage and gray water, heat and cool our homes and offices and provide the electrical power for our lights and appliances.
Think of it! Those in your twenties, watch how our planet will shrink in your lifetime. In ten to twenty years there will be airplanes or space ships that will leave the United States, rise into the stratosphere or higher, glide at three to five times the speed of sound and land in Russia or China in a couple of hours. At 3,000 MPH we can go halfway around the world in 4 hours, when a little over 150 years ago, we were limited to one or two horsepower and it took over a month to cross the continent.
Yes, we have come far. Nevertheless we, as individuals, have a significant obligation to ourselves and to our children to defend our freedom at any cost and to learn everything we can about everything we can know in our lifetime that we can document and prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and then pass as much of that information on to our offspring. We have an imperative to do no less. And Common Core State Standards is not the answer.
What we need to do, more than anything else, is to educate our people in all of the true knowledge we have discovered over the last 5,000 years without propaganda and hidden socialist agendas. And we need to foster unabashed individualism if freedom is to survive. Knowledge is the great equalizer among men. If all individuals possess the same knowledge, it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to “lord” over the other, thus muting the necessity of war.
The problem in this country and every other country, for that matter, and all the people on this Earth is not poverty. It is not the disparity between poverty and wealth. It is not pestilence or flood, famine, hurricanes, earthquakes, war, or any of these things. What it is is the absence of freedom and pandemic ignorance. It is also the efforts by a few national and international elites to break the backs and spirit of the individual. The power of a freethinking individual is a dictator’s worst nightmare.
What we need is a way to get more people motivated to seek that truth and their own “point of reference” and the solid basis of why their particular “point of reference” is relative to them. And we must resist with all of our might government and special interest groups’ relentless perversion of the truth. Propaganda and lies are the “tools” they use to control us.
We need to eradicate mysticism and propaganda and replace them with the truth and universal, provable realities.
And then we must teach our children to question even the provable realities and always leave room for a different perspective, a different view, or new information.
The Joy of Wonder will die in all of us if we, collectively, with aggressive determination, do not trample the evil that has beset us, appearing in the form of a powerful domestic enemy (The Obama types and Progressives) and a pure evil foreign enemy (ISIS and radical Islam). Only the people of America have the power to do this.
The stark reality is that if we destroy our God-given, natural freedom that allows our unique individuality to blossom, we will descend into the hell of the collective and it will take a bloody revolution to restore freedom and liberty so that the individual, once again, with all his strength, power, beauty, compassion, spirit, generosity and the joy of wonder, will lead man on the never-ending, exciting journey to explore our Universe. The Universe is waiting, if we don’t stumble and get in our own way.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we hope each of you will reflect on and be grateful for the freedom we do have, the love of family and the great power of the human spirit embodied in the “Joy of Wonder.”
NOTE: The foregoing article represents the opinion of the author and is not necessarily shared by the owners, representatives, employees, or agents of the publisher.
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Ron Ewart, a nationally known author and speaker on freedom and property rights issues and author of this weekly column, “In Defense of Rural America“, is the president of the National Association of Rural Landowners (NARLO) (http://www.narlo.org) an advocate and consultant for urban and rural landowners and a non-profit corporation headquartered in Washington State. He can be reached for comment at: email@example.com.