…capable of incredible beauty and massive destruction, unselfish kindness and unspeakable cruelty. With a brain the size of a melon and couple of opposable thumbs, we conceive of and build the World Trade Center and the transistor, produce art from the Sistine Chapel to street graffiti, create the music of Mozart and the Sex Pistols. We’ve produced Einstein and da Vinci, but also Hitler and Idi Amin. We create artificial kidneys and hearts to save lives, but also napalm and nuclear weapons to destroy them. We develop complex civilizations like Egypt and Greece and Rome, or those of the Aztecs and Mayans and Incas…then destroy them to build others and ultimately destroy those, too.
Who are we? What are we? Why are we? Where are we going? I know, of course, the academic answers…and maybe some of proposed by the existentialists. But that’s not what I’m asking. These are just thoughts that occur to me after walking through Florence and Rome over the last couple of weeks…and yes, admittedly, reflecting on Tuesday’s election.