RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
By James Strauss
Human beings have been trying to bore themselves to death throughout time. We know this from translating the oldest evidence of recorded history. What is it humans almost universally, without respect to social groupings or cultures, seek out when they are not required by survival necessities to do something everyone’s defines as work? Humans seek to sleep, to rest, and to participate in the most laid back of recreational activities. Humans that have the ability to retire are likely to do nothing at all, except possibly the most trivial of minor pursuits. This isn’t just true about what humans choose to do when not at work. Wealthy people often illustrate another form of retirement. They withdraw from contact with the general population when they wall themselves inside great stone chateaus, ride in armored limos with tinted windows and fly only on private jets instead of commercial. The people these wealthy individuals socialize with narrows until only blood relations or paid servants remain.
Much of the planet’s population, at least the ones who reach a high enough point of “success” to have leisure time, along with economic security, want to escape any physical hardship, angst or fear. Simultaneously, these same individuals crave mental and physical stimulation of almost all kinds. In modern western cultures a distinct and very deep crevasse has formed between these two very different drives in life. All over the world, aboard expedition, cruise and adventure ships, hundreds of thousands of high paying customers sail into supposedly dangerous areas to experience adventure and risk without actually being exposed to adventure and risk. Even under such controlled circumstances most passengers choose to stay on the ships, instead of going ashore. Experiencing the possibility of danger is perceived as “enjoyable,” but physically encountering something new, stimulating or even life changing is seen as threatening. The rather sheep-like behavior of many shipboard ‘adventurers’ isn’t relegated to those exploring the world’s oceans and seas.
Everyone can observe this kind of behavior by simply turning on the television and watching the development, or rather the lack of development, of the U.S. Space program. Despite the current program being comprised almost exclusively of rockets going up and back to a low-hanging station in old Soviet style space capsules, media commentators persist in describing the space program as developing, even with no Moon or Mars mission of any import. The space program goes nowhere, while it is trumpeted to be progressing. Commercial airplane development follows the same pattern. There have been no new designs for passenger planes put into mass production in almost fifty years. Yet, because of tiny advances in metallurgy and composites, this total lack of development is presented by media, as of there has indeed been some real progress.
What’s going on with modern human beings? When did this belief that safety and security are so sacrosanct that exposure to new circumstance (the word adventure is being used in this article as a synonym for ‘new circumstance’) is becoming ever more limited. And when it is experienced, the safety ropes, wires, support personnel and artificial nature of the supposed adventure, completely obviates any real satisfaction (other than bragging rights for the participants) for the person doing it, or humanity as a whole. Hunger, environmental destruction, global energy shortages, housing shortages, little or no education and devastating poverty all continue to plague mankind’s existence on Earth.
Only adventurers can only solve these problems; true adventurers.
Adventure may best be defined as follows: doing something dangerous that has a happy ending. Doing something dangerous that results in injury or death is called tragedy. The question that should be on the table for all modern cultures today is one that should be asked of almost all humans participating in every circumstance of life.
Are you willing to risk in order to gain?
It is a simple question, but there are many possible answers. The answers people choose will be determinant in pointing the course for where the species may be going. There is no question at all, none at all, that cultures cannot remain static and survive. Change is as endemic to human experience and survival as human genetic structure. Part of the reason for that is easy to understand. Change comes to humans from the outside as well as from humans making change happen. The changes coming at humans from the outside are not as vitally important, as they are reacted to defensively. However, when humans choose to change things, these ‘active’ changes are pivotal. Today one of the major things humans are currently choosing to impact upon is the earth itself. This active change, one many are hoping to redirect, is called global warming. And, according to the laws of physics, humans are also changing the universe merely by being present “out there,” away from the planet.
There is a personal decision to be made by every human on earth. It can be made once, and the results followed, or it can be made over and over again. The decision is whether to choose to be a human walled up, protected, taken care of, or to be a human who seeks to make beneficial changes to everything around him or her, despite the possible risks to oneself. This article is written to all people, but the issue is actually directed specifically to you, who are reading this now, and you alone.
Ask your self this question:
Are you a human who’s simply surviving and waiting to die, or are you one of those rare individuals, an adventurer that seeks to be a Raider of the Lost Ark?
America was once a country in which its citizenry believed that adventurer’s outnumbered “normal” people, by far.
Return to those days and nights of yesteryear.
Go out, in, or over and have an adventure.
The Ark of the Covenant is waiting,
and so much more.