Highs and Lows

As pinpoint pupils tell the paramedic the patient is likely overdosed on opioids, the pinhole eye of Hurricane Maria warned: the worst is yet to come. The lesson more than ever is that there are some places humans just shouldn’t go, not Mount Kilimanjaro, not Everest, and now, due to Harvey and Irma and Maria (IrMaria), we have to give up the pleasant edges of Texas, the Leeward Islands, the Florida Keys, all of the Caribbean — for whatever place it is, if it was or was not struck this time ’round, it’s only a matter of time before it’s the next victim, and by extension ocean islands and coasts around the world.

Why should we set ourselves apart as different from the rest of the world, when the poorer and lower regions (which have barely contributed any greenhouse gases) have been socked with climate change for years, like excessive heat and drought driving civil war, a ruthless dictator, and from that the Syrians from their homes?

We should feel the same of all mountains, even those that might bear a black diamond designation. The Tao te Ching teaches us that the greatest good is like water, which runs down and seeks the low places people disdain. Now, we know we can’t go too low, lest those same waters drown us, but still.

In the Bible, Matthew said the city on a hill could not be hidden, so human believers should rise up and be the light for the world. Those days are gone. The high and mighty have been and will be brought down, the merely tall more likely to wind up leveled, and those who boast – well, who knows what karma they bring upon themselves?

Better to neither rise too far and become a target, nor slump into a valley where the river runs through it (and maybe our homes). Better to have modest wants, and to be humble.

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