Why Not Something Better?


A dense thin layer of fog has settled across the land this morning. The air is cool and rich, comfortable to breathe. The anemometer on the weather station sits still, a rare moment. Crickets complete their nighttime routine, as some aircraft make their final approaches to landing sites, completing their routines as well.

A few drops of water that have collected run down the windows of the car and home alike. Some grass remains a darkened green color, where it has yet to turn brown. Birds sing more from a distance than close by. As the sun starts to clear the horizon, the current observations about this morning’s conditions will change.

Spend enough time living in the countryside and one begins to pay attention to change. Organisms struggle to survive until times become so favorable that they overpopulate; then the imbalance is corrected by other organisms including viruses, or disease, or various other conditions. Sometimes it’s like watching fads in society: favorable conditions giving rise to extremes, only to be corrected when the overall health of the system is threatened. Diversity ensures survival in a changing system, a threat and a solution, all in one.

I don’t know of much that doesn't at some point become tested due to its success (whether by intention or not), especially when its success begins to threaten the success of another. That’s when the viruses enter, attempting to correct, offering balance when they can’t wipe out, improving the health of the survivors that remain. The process of ensuring balance isn’t so difficult to understand from this perspective, but the experience to those organisms that have flourished during conditions primarily favorable to them, can be as enlightening to the observer and those that survive as it is devastating to the organisms that do not.

Over the years I’ve come to no longer ask why about such realities; life on Earth simply is what it is. The question now becomes: why not something else? As in, why not something better?