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Life --- A mixture of good and bad



   What is life like?  How can we describe and define it?  If one 
   is honest one must say it is a mixture.  It is a mixture of 
   good and bad, of things that can be cause for optimism and 
   things that can be cause for pessimism.  Man is a complicated 
   creature with great capacity for both good and bad.  At his 
   best he has great concern for the sufferings of his fellow man 
   and may do much good.  At his worst he can be an animal and a 
   brute and can do much hurt and harm.  If one looks at life one 
   can say that the really basic laws on which it operates are 
   really just the same laws as those on which the animal world 
   operates --- the law of "survival of the fittest" where each 
   must with caution, care, and shrewdness watch his every step 
   lest he be devoured;  where competition is the outstanding Fact 
   and Law which determines and shapes all;  where the environment 
   is filled with a multitude of dangers and hazards that can be 
   deadly for the foolish, simple and weak;  where the strong prey 
   upon the weak and only the cautious, shrewd and prudent 
   survive.  One can look at life and say that this is the best 
   model for describing it.  That for all that men may say or 
   claim "civilization" is really only a very thin veneer and that 
   at the very bottom the same laws that dictate the lives of 
   animals in the natural world also dictate the lives of men.  
   Some people can be very negative in seeing life from this 
   viewpoint, see the world as being very dark, ugly and cruel, 
   completely "dog eat dog".  Yet it must be said that there is 
   goodness mixed in with the badness in life and that the world 
   is a great mixture of both goodness and badness.  There are a 
   great many people who do carry with them concern and burden 
   about social injustice and suffering in this world and have 
   spent their lives working for social and political reforms 
   which they feel will reduce this injustice and suffering.  If 
   there are a great many people who are selfish and are guided 
   only by self-interest there are also a great many who are 
   concerned about others and their welfare.  Things are not all 
   bad.  And much can be in the mind of the beholder.  People 
   often see others and life as they themselves are.  A cruel man 
   will see life as basically cruel and a kind man will see life 
   as basically kind. 
 

   Feb 1985




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