It intrigued me. It asked some pretty important questions about humans and how they cope. How they grin and bear it.
You know. Life.
The premise of the series has been copied many times since. The idea is that typical modern families would try to survive and cope with times gone by. How they dealt with an artificially reconstructed life of their ancestors. This particular one, as the title hints, was set in the 1870’s in one of the most cold and brutal natural environs in North Amerika…Montana. But that is less important than the luxuries without which these families must live during the experiment, and how their self-preservation drive fueled their ingenuity. You might be surprised at the outcome. Each were given 160 acres and field animals to survive from early Spring through the following Winter. Enough to survive in this wilderness, if they used their brains and their backs. These families had none or very few of the skills that their 19th century counterparts possessed, but I was shocked to see that when left to their own devices, a very positive and telling pattern emerged.
I think you can still view it here.
So what the hell am I getting at. Well, human nature, I guess. It fascinates me. We as humans, have always seemed to be(for the lack of anyone else, I guess)our own harshest critics(probably for reasons of survival). I am of the opinion that left to our own devices, we will always survive.
Many detractors of our times will tell you that because we depend on Ronald McWhosit to serve us our breakfast while we steer rolling contraptions up to his convenient food hole, that we are somehow weaker as a species. I disagree.
Many detractors of our times will tell you that because our thumbs have evolved seemingly to text on little plastic marvels to other people saying essentially nothing, that we have become a race of dependent brain-dead animals that will soon disappear in evolutionary selection. I also disagree with this.
I say we have adapted. Adapting to Ronald may be a skewed offshoot of our intended goal, but many of our adaptations have served us well.
But being busy will do that to some. Busy surviving. Just as the families found out on that lonely plain in Montana...life and mere survival through 3-score and ten can keep you occupied every waking minute. It still does. It is just being busy at different things now. Our developed skills of constant awareness and planning have not receded in any fashion since the 1870’s. As a matter of fact I would say that these skills have sharpened.
But where does this all fit in howdarei, you might well ask. I dunno. Maybe it is a good-newsy type of observation that so few make out here. Despite everything…we are going to be okay. We will survive as a species. We are evolving as I type. And at a much faster pace than a score of generations before us. If it is a generally accepted fact that people don’t like change, well then bitching about such a rapid succession of it should come as no surprise to anyone. And that is what we do here, isn’t it? Out here on the busy highway trying desperately to warn people of changes for the worse, not for the better. And I am guilty of such sky-is-falling gloom and doom. But sometimes, I think we all need to step back a few paces. Look where we have been. Look where we are going. Not from such a personal point of view however…as is only natural. But to resist the temptation to judge too harshly. Too personally.
Of course there are those that would hold us back. Hearken to the
primal days of our hierarchical beginnings. Those tribal/racial concerns. But that is washing away like footprints on the beach. And this is because of you and I. In the grand scheme of things, I just can’t help but think that you and I don’t matter much. Outside of what little influence we can have on our own progeny and those immediately around us, our human family will survive the Winter.
The losing family in the above mentioned competition in the wilderness...the ones that all the experts agreed would not have survived the Montana winter…those that were in no way prepared for what was to come over the mountains, was the family that chose to cheat. The ones that broke the rules whenever they could, trying to gain an edge which they did not labor for. That type of attitude always loses. It always will…no matter how long it seems to take…it will be weeded out. If only the strong survive…I think we better recognize the strong among us. And follow their example when their backs were against the wall. Not follow them…but their example of busyness and adaptation, and ingenuity.
So if anything…how dare I be so optimistic? As much social conscience as I am burdened with, so too am I blessed with a belief in the ingenuity of mankind to survive.
So rejoice, ‘truthers’. And look within yourselves to YOUR ingenuity and tireless efforts to keep us all on the straight and
narrow path of evolution to a better place.