Strength and Fragility - Powerful Creatures in a Fading Ecosystem
This topic is a very evocative one, as it immediately fills my head with so many thoughts of why strength and fragility are partners to everything on this planet and its ecosystem. Some of the objects and creatures that we consider as being strong and powerful, are equally the most vulnerable and fragile. There is indeed a strength in fragility, as one would truly not begin to appreciate strength, unless we were equally able to experience fragility.
We are living in strange times where although there are many examples of these traits littered around the planet, by the same virtue, these examples remain invisible at the same time. This may indeed be part the paradox of the unity of strength and fragility.
It may be asserted that the development of humanity has moved in leaps and bounds in the Twentieth Century; however the existence of humanity rests on many elements. Intellect without common sense is foolhardy. Indeed humanity is only one small part of the ecosystem in which we occupy. Quite often it is overlooked as to how fragile that ecosystem is, with the need to share, and play our role fairly as well as ethically whilst we interact with the other members.
Human nature means that we tend to under-estimate the fragility of issues, downplay or deny the true intensity or extent of the fragility. The truth is that it becomes quite scary to realize how vulnerable and delicate our bodies are, or how easily the threads binding us to others and to the larger society, can be shattered by a single word, act, or the delicate balance of climate and the global ecology.
Life is very humbling, and yet at times scary to face the reality of the underlying frailty of the human body and soul, but moreover our entire ecosystem. How easily this relationship can go awry, under the intensity and unpredictability of Mother Nature.
Weakness at a first glance, is definitely not a good thing or attribute. However, fragility is an inherent human condition, playing an extremely vital role in terms of our own human development. In our contemporary world, not knowing or understanding everything, not being able to dominate or control everything has a positive side. It propels us into creating relationships, complementarity, solidarity, showing empathy and unity in diversity.
Vulnerability allows the human race to develop the capacity to join together and combine with others to affect change. We have an inherent need for others, to not only act but also as a support mechanism. This creates the scope to be diverse, to challenge our boundaries and ultimately to perhaps motivate ourselves to create something radically new.
The truth is that something always gets born out of excess, those deep moments of intense fragility; however we need to appreciate and celebrate them. For example, great inspirational art is usually born of terrible terrors, great instabilities, great inhibitions, and great loneliness. Many famous artists have been inspired by moments of fragility, moving them to come up with some of the most remarkable paintings and works of art we now value in our contemporary world.
The heart is a great example of the paradox of strength and fragility in human beings. Both physically and emotionally there is clear evidence of the strength of this organ, that beats around seventy times in a minute for a lifetime controlling the very life in our bodies. However, the heart can also be extremely fragile, and even in a lifetime, will suffer many an emotional trauma, as it is 'broken' by relationships. It is essentially the guardian of our soul, maintaining the trinity with the mind and body.
Humanity often fails to recognize its own fragility, if so, would there be unrelenting conflict in the world? Equally, have we become blind to the fine balance of resources on the planet for man and beast. Managing the ecosystem ethically is not purely a necessity, but also satisfaction of something much deeper in our being. A deep yearning to succeed and break new boundaries.
We must learn to care for animals walking this planet, in that they too form part of this paradox. Tigers like the Sumatran Tiger are a great example. None can doubt that they exhibit strength and power, and yet are fragile and endangered, because of cavalier actions of human beings. It is not enough to solely recognise our fragility, we must recognise the impact of this on the ecosystem and other animals present.
All too often we overlook displaying an attitude of empathy and tenderness for each and every other person at work, socially and in the home. This gratitude can be hugely motivational, as one act of kindness usually spurs another, and so on. It is a simple task to recognize fragility or even frustration, and then to appreciate that talent positively can stimulate all concerned. Imagine the impact on a busker or homeless person, of just a few kind words.
Balance and inner peace are very important to each one of us. Both attributes are highly valued, and yet are possessed by merely a few. Knowing and appreciating the fragility of others naturally steers you away from unkindness or being harsh to others. Equally, it can provide us a gauge to measure our own behaviours.
Once we have a clear understanding of fragility in the contemporary world, we can temper our actions and do whatever is close to our hearts by way of aiding or repairing the fragility in the world. It may be helping the many refugees from conflict, or visiting an elderly person, to even working at an animal sanctuary. There is nothing so rewarding as helping others achieve their goals and dreams, once you have faced and accepted the reality of the brevity of your own life. Inspiration is truly contagious and one random act can inspire many others. This is the best way indeed that we can harness the power of strength and fragility to make a difference in our fading ecosystem.
“The world is changeable, and its ability to change is so fragile that a single person can be responsible for it.”by A.J. Darkholme, Rise of the Morningstar
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