The Price Of Progress The Peacock Wasn't Willing To Pay

New York’s Central Park Zoo reported one of their prized peacocks recently escaped. But that’s not the story. After he spent the night on the ledge of a nearby building, watching the chaotic city below, he flew straight back to his cage at sunrise. Zoo director Jeff Sailer said: “I think he likes it better here.”

I say: Who wouldn’t?

Think about it. The sales of Mozart continue to top Rap decade after decade. People continue to buy cats and dogs with increasing rates year after year. And damn near anyone who has even flirted a moment with fame continues to write their-side-of-the-story memoirs. What’s going on here…?

Isn’t it modern humanity’s need to find some kind of order in chaos? to hunt for meaning in disarray? to hope for sense among the senseless? I think so. I think maybe that peacock did too.

It would be foolish to argue our times are the worst of times. At the same time, it would be presumptuous to suggest they are the best of times. True, humanity has left the cave, tamed the beasts, conquered time and space. Why it’s even aspiring to total genetic engineering, to the stars, to immortality itself. And yet such enthralling pursuits have taken us off the solidarity of the land, jammed us into teeming cities, brought us into violent competition with other pursuers. There’s always a price for progress.

Visionaries are willing to pay that price. God bless them their courage, for the rest of us depend on their blazing new frontiers into which we can later travel safely. But safety — order, meaning, sense — are elusive in these exciting days. Perhaps mainly because everyone and every nation is pushing and shoving for the very same brass rings.

With only so many rings to go around….well, at least I have my Mozart, my faithful companion, and that happy-ending memoir.

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  • The mark of civilization for us 'elderly' on this part of the Globe may well be "Mozart in The Morning" {Something we we are truly inclined to enjoy here in the Canadian 'outback'} ... though when you say "True, humanity has left the cave" .... We look at the events of recent times and mutter "We are noy yet that far from the caves" .... but enough brooding upon that ... T'is a fine note of optimism here Jack ... we wish you well this day.

  • That should read "We are NOT yet that far from the caves" ... we Geezers have poor eyesight at times .... Chuckle!

  • Geezer ~ With perhaps the exception of Plato's Cave, you're probably correct. Our generation has not really moved all that far from its primitive passions. (Check Washington for ugly details) Maybe up there in the Canadian wilds, you can find more hope for our species. Back here in Chicago, I have my doubts..

  • "Primitive Passions" can run rampant here in Canada as well Jack .... I have the fortune to know of a few fine gentlemen like you in the Chicago District ... and so I would say that "Civilized" men abound there as much as anywhere ---- {though one must of course seek them out}!!

  • Yes...the "seeking" is what sweetens the living! Seeking and occasionally finding a few soul mates along the way.........

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