We Are All One

Approx­i­mate­ly 4.5 bil­lion years ago, life emerged on Earth. Sin­gle cells begat sin­gle cells, evo­lu­tion cre­at­ing a vari­ety of bac­te­ria and oth­er micro­bial organisms.

Over time, mul­ti­cel­lu­lar organ­isms showed up, and to make a very long sto­ry short, even­tu­al­ly (rather recent­ly), mankind as we know it today emerged.

It hum­bles me to think about this chain of events. There’s no “if this is true…” here either; evo­lu­tion is as much fact as it is the­o­ry.

What the his­to­ry of life shows us, though, is that, in a sense, we are all relat­ed. And by “we,” I do not mean “all of human­i­ty”; rather, I mean “all life on Earth.”

It’s eas­i­er to think of this rela­tion­ship just in those beings which are clos­est to us genet­i­cal­ly: fam­i­ly, oth­er humans, and then per­haps oth­er pri­mates such as gorillas.

Our fam­i­ly tree, how­ev­er, includes far more than pri­mates. We can keep fol­low­ing the branch­es up, and in doing so we’ll find we are relat­ed — how­ev­er genet­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent we may be — to fish, fun­gi, fowl, and flora.

All life, no mat­ter what shape it takes, is fam­i­ly. I like to think of a meta­phys­i­cal life spark which we all share, a spark which has been passed onto all off­spring, start­ing with that pri­mor­dial microbe which start­ed it all.

This com­mon­al­i­ty of life should make us take stock: our lives are no more “spe­cial” from an objec­tive stand­point than the lives of any oth­er organ­isms, yet we are the only organ­isms which know­ing­ly and will­ful­ly break free of the nat­ur­al order by way of indus­try and economics.

How are we impact­ing the life around us? Are we allow­ing life to thrive so that in the future, new and excit­ing organ­isms which we can’t even imag­ine may evolve and fas­ci­nate what­ev­er form “human­i­ty” is tak­ing then?

My first child is due in five months… Anoth­er link in a chain of life which is tru­ly ancient. Life is amaz­ing. Persistent.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Use your Gravatar-enabled email address while commenting to automatically enhance your comment with some of Gravatar's open profile data.

Comments must be made in accordance with the comment policy. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam; learn how your comment data is processed.

You may use Markdown to format your comments; additionally, these HTML tags and attributes may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rick Beckman