Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Primitive Response

Today I'm in a place utterly different than what I am used to. All that I have become accustomed to is gone. I am a stranger in a strange land. I have read the results of sociological studies into the behavioral patterns of every day men and women who had lost everything they owned. These studies indicated that it took just a few short days for these historically law-abiding folks to turn to robbery, theft, and hold-ups. Some particularly desperate folks were even capable of murder. The undercurrent of these reports is that human beings are programmed to self-preservation of themselves and those closest to them in such situations. It is as if we revert to some pre-programmed and more primitive state when hard times are faced. I am certain that if the subjects of these studies could have been questioned beforehand, from a purely hypothetical perspective, they would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that there would be no possible chance of them turning into tyrants or burglars (or worse), no matter what situation they found themselves in. Their answers would be very much the same as those you or I would give if questioned about similar occurrences.

Well folks, today I can be carefully observed as a sociological study. Every possession that I might call my own is about 5,000 miles away. Will I revert to some less evolved creature, eyeing my fellow humans as objects to be exploited, their possessions as riches to be plundered? While I can't predict the future with absolute certainty, I can state with a high degree of assurance that this will not happen to me. Why? Well I am presently sitting comfortably on the patio of my suite in a five-star hotel in Hawaii. Yeah I realize that you all probably don't think all that highly of me at present, but I am getting what I deserved. The room service folks failed to fully open the umbrella in my decadent tropical drink.