Thursday, August 23, 2012

Conservation of Humans

(It might be helpful to read "Conservation: A word or two about tree hugging" first)

From the moment of conception you began consuming. A darling little parasite growing in mommy’s womb, robbing her of nutrients, giving nothing of value in return. When you entered the world you consumed even more resources. Calories from your mother or from formula were directly consumed. Indirectly, more calories were consumed in the form of energy expended by parents to feed you, bathe you, clean you, comfort you, entertain you…

You consumed a portion of your parents’ labor, turned to wages, to supply diapers, bottles, clothes, blankies, toys…

This continued as you grew to childhood. You consumed the resources of others, creating none of your own.

At some point during childhood you may have started to provide some small contribution, in the form of chores, possibly even odd jobs; watering, mowing lawns, and shoveling snow. But these were not nearly sufficient to balance the books. In your teens, you may have actually taken a job in which your contribution balanced your consumption (probably not, but some do, others just become larger, hungrier parasites…). Keep in mind that is no small feat, given the cost of food, shelter, clothing, transportation, education…

Then comes college, where most continue in the red, consuming scholarships, grants, loans, or mommy and daddy funds, to pay for room, board, the time of professors and other university staff. At last, (hopefully) you enter the “real world” and begin your life as a productive member of society. Well, maybe. Many at this point go even deeper in the red, in the form of Home Loans, Car loans, and Consumer Debt for Furniture, Appliances, etc… Yes, this is more of that parasitic consumption. 

You didn’t create any of that stuff. You didn’t create sufficient other resources to trade for that stuff. You consumed that stuff, with the promise that you would someday create sufficient stuff to balance out the books.

Better hurry, because at some point in the not too distant future, you are going to go back to pooping in your pants, and requiring someone else to clean it up for you. You will return to your parasitic ways, consuming more than you create. And that is okay. That is part of the experience.
In the end the question to answer is, in the whole experience, did you create more than you consumed, or did you at least break even?

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