The problem of evil:
Why unconditionally bad things
happen to unconditionally good people.
They never do.
(Jonathan Safran Foer)
Some of the most user-friendly expressions are military based, a field where people literally put their lives at risk, whether voluntarily or not. Used sparingly, swearing is powerful and has been proven to increase pain tolerance. A few months ago I experienced a conglomerate of a cluster flocked snafu of a fubar. Within the course of a week life turned upside down, unpleasant discoveries were made, losses were incurred and plans...well. There were plans?
After the initial period of healthy shock and disbelief, (stress hormones are neurotoxic and the brain protects itself by shutting down), it was time to assess the rubble. Some things I could do nothing about. Accept and move on. Others could be resolved. Incubate a predator-alien hybrid and persist. Bring it. The most difficult to deal with were the situations that were caused by other people.
It was an unwelcome reminder of how selfish humanity can be. Be it entitlement, greed or the worst that my species has to offer, the indifference toward others, putting self-interests above the common good or causing usually unnecessary harm, whether directly or indirectly is a reality I still fail to comprehend.
The lack of empathy and indifference that permeates our global community is seemingly infinite. I experienced it in my own little microcosm and have been watching it unfold on a global scale. Selfishness, brought on by the evolution of survival, but no longer balanced by empathy or altruism. Empathy, the omega factor, which supposedly sets us apart from other mammals.
We think of wasps as pests, unlike bees they do not produce honey and are therefore not seen as a benefit that humans can exploit. However, wasps are not only pollinators, but useful pest controllers. While adults feed on nectar, the young are fed insects.
For a few weeks, every time her future hive reached coin size, I would open the window and knock it off. I cleaned the area hoping that if the scent was gone, she would pick another location. A few days later, she was back. Starting over. Rebuilding. I even tried to relocate her, but she would fly off before I could scoop her up in a container.
As a nature geek, I know that the aggressiveness of a hive is directly influenced by the behavior of their queen. Calm queen, which she was, calm hive. It became our routine. Knock off the nest, watch her rebuild and start liking her in the process. I lived with the knowledge that I was responsible for not allowing her to do what nature meant her to. She only had one summer to accomplish it. Damn you, Ender Wiggin.
I knew that I would be away and by the time I returned, her aggressive soldiers would hatch, helping her expand the hive. With reluctance I terminated her gene pool. I am sorry my calm little wasp, you would have made a good queen, but I had to protect my self-interest.