2017-08-17 / Outdoors

Uncivilized civilization

The civilized practice of respect seems to be getting lost in today’s world. In our human culture — whether abroad in other societies or here in this country — respect seems to be in decline. The trend is a design for the failure of civilization as we know it.

Lack of respect is not new. It has been around since there was more than one human being on Earth. In the natural world of living creatures, respect is earned — not given. If the leader of a pack of wolves is challenged by another wolf for leading the pack, it is because the challenger is stronger and quicker than the current leader. A fight will ensue, and the winner, whichever it is, will be the leader. You won’t see the bystanders disrespecting either one. The wolves along the sidelines aren’t holding up signs saying their new leader is a jerk or some other disrespecting comment. You won’t see the other wolves threating to leave the pack because they don’t approve of their new (or old) leader.

Only in humans do we tolerate and allow this type of action. America, more than other country, allows this, and it has allowed some real wackos to express their innermost fatuousness.

Just look at some advanced past civilizations that prospered — the ancient Greeks or the Aztecs or Incas. Temples and towers and other architectural wonders are proof of their success. True, they may not have been electronically advanced as we are today, but they were advanced for their time. Where are they now? People are still searching for the lost city of Atlantis. Great civilizations have risen, ruled and disappeared. Could the downfall of these peoples be lack of respect for nature?

We have all walked through a huge parking lot of concrete or asphalt. No doubt you have noticed how amazing it is to see a small green plant pushing up through cracks in this hard surface. How long did this take? Weeks? Now imagine that parking lot in a hundred or a thousand years. What would it look like then? Ignoring nature and contributing to its destruction are akin to being on a boat in the middle of the ocean. If you don’t take care of it, it won’t take care of you.

In the animal world, conflicts usually are one on one, and don’t affect many others of the species. Very rarely do these affect large geographic areas to make them uninhabitable for future generations. Humankind, however, has developed weapons that do just that — bigger, badder and more destructive in an attempt to demand respect from others. This is a threat to the entire human race. While being strong is a good trait, the strength needs to be used for good and for the advancement of all of mankind and nature. Respect nature, respect yourself and respect our leaders.

Watch the birds or animals next time you go out to a park or even in your backyard. The co-mingling and respect in nature is amazing. Enjoy our great outdoors.

Fair winds; calm seas. ¦

— Capt. Dennis Kirk has been traveling the Peace River since 1979. His life adventures are written from various chapters in his three decades of experience in Southwest Florida. He is part owner of the Nav-A-Gator, a riverfront restaurant and marina in Lake Suzy, just off Kings Highway. For more information, call 627- 3474.

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