I tend to agree with this poem. The evidence is all around us. The universe does not seem to take a personal interest in our individual lives. Whatever universal creative intelligence exists, be it energy, be it god, 'it' does not seem to 'feel' any obligation to intervene in the personal existence of humans, countries or the planet. No intervention from on high has saved dying and starving babies in third world countries. No intervention from on high is preventing global warming and the melting of our polar ice caps. What happens during our mortal existence, and to the planet seems to be pretty much in our own hands.
It is a bitter pill to swallow - to contemplate that there may be no big daddy 'up' in the sky watching over us and feeling obliged to protect us. It is also a bitter pill - to recognize that we are not special - and that truthfully nothing, on a universal, planetary or individual scale is owed to us and no ultimate rescuer will intervene on our behalf. We all long for 'someone to watch over me', as the old song says.
One of the 'givens' of human existence is that we are ultimately alone. No one can experience your wounds for you. No one can step in and face illness or death for you. No one can learn for you. No one can grow and develop for you. No one can or will step in and face the realities of ageing in your place. You must do all these things on your own. This is an existential given.
We must also come to terms with our basic aloneness in facing the realities of life on planet earth. Many of us try to escape this bitter pill by numbing ourselves with substances, distractions, material possessions or busyness so that we do not have to experience our basic aloneness. Many of us turn to magical thinking or religion to soothe our fears of being alone to confront life. We comfort ourselves with religions' soothing beliefs and promises of a rescuer and a heavenly, immortal reward. Recoil as we many from the harsh reality of our ultimate aloneness, sooner or later we have to face it. Better to come to terms with it now than on one's deathbed, is what I have concluded. If there is another form of life, after we face death, what a delightful surprise that will be!
How do you feel about Stephen Crane's above assertion? Do you believe the universe owes you anything?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Mixed Media Painting entitled "Nebula" by Bonnie Zieman, 2009
Afternote: After reading the comments, most seem to agree with Stephen Crane's statement and my existential stance. Generally, I think we comment where we agree or relate to the post and abstain from commenting where we do not. However, I would really love to hear all points of view, and will, of course, even if I don't agree, treat them with respect. I value diversity and am honoured by the time and energy you invest in commenting. All perspectives are sought and welcomed here.