Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Buttons, Baboons, and World Peace

Curious as to how we can swing this one beyond an enumeration?

National Public Radio via the often maligned internet, my friends. 

Button up, and follow me.

While the K-Landnews TheEditor tries to never stray too far from the NPR based tip for healthy living that says "don't believe everything you think", TheEditor does fail occasionally.

One such failure took place one recent early morning as TheEditor reached into the armoire for a fresh shirt. As the clothes hanger came out, TheEditor stared at the top of the hanger, where the hook meets the arms.

The top button was closed. 

Now watch how the failure occurred. The very first thought which sprang up was: there will never be world peace.

The elaboration followed swiftly: If this household cannot accommodate the different preferences re leaving the top button of a shirt open or closing it as the laundry is put away, how for Pete's sake can we expect peace between the nations?

Old debates flooded the waking areas of the brain like an incoming tide (the detergent is spelled with uppercase T).

The shirts slip off the hanger if you don't close the top button!

No, they don't.

Closing one button is the way it is done. Some people button up two, even three.

But it's work having to unbutton it for no reason.

The reason is it's closed.


If you cannot agree on how to hang a shirt, how can nations of millions of people agree on who owns a patch of dirt or resources under desert, or next to a mountain? They'll just continue to shoot up and blow up each other's peoples until one caves in only to restart the fight a generation or two later.

Enter National Public Radio with a report on a troop of baboons. A troop of baboons lived behind a hotel, high on the hog and the drumsticks that the hotel put in a garbage dump not far from the resort.

They behaved as ordinary baboons do: fighting, bitching, making more baboons, more fighting and so on.
One day, the males caught TB, atrociously deadly for these critters, and died.
The researcher saw his study of baboons on the dump die with the males and left, frustrated.

Some time later, he himself met a fellow primate and they went on a trip down memory lane to the hotel where he had studied the baboons.

What he found was peaceful baboons. The aggressive, hazing, fighting males having died off, the females started a peaceful troop and made all the new males that eventually wandered into the good life behave peacefully.

This lifted TheEditor out of the darkness of the buttons. Despite efforts to the contrary, the world has become more peaceful, and once the resource fights are over, maybe there is a chance future generations can be as peaceful as this troop of baboons.

Just as it did for that troop, it may take an epic disaster with near annihilation of males to get there.

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