In a word YES.
You can waste it with poor exposure. Playing by the rules. Or not understanding how things work.
The question of a wasted life came to me in two dissimilar actions.
I was setting up a series of wildlife cameras in Yellowstone Park. I hoped to capture the movement of the recent wolf reintroduction.
I set the cameras up by myself. Being in the wild by oneself, well, you get a little Jeremiah Johnson. You don’t shave, you don’t bath, you basically return to nature.
So one morning I got up, crawled out of my tent buck naked, stretched and started to make coffee. A huge black bear decided that coffee might be a good idea. I dropped the coffee pot and started running down the narrow path. I had no idea if the bear was following me or not, but I was really running fast.
The path I chose was the same path that I set the cameras on. My running triggered the cameras, filming my escape. When I returned, after circling the campsite as I was wearing nothing and needed clothes to reenter the world of man, I reviewed the recording of me running down the path.
“What was I thinking?” Here I am running from a 600 pound bear and I am holding my junk. Besides slowing me down as my arms were busy keeping things from swinging, I wondered who I prevented from seeing me naked.
Had I just let things be, maybe the bear might have stopped because of laughter or he might have felt sorry for me. Either way the camera did not even see my junk. But the look on my face was priceless.
I sat down and repaired what the bear had decided needed adjustment. Apparently he didn’t even bother chasing me.
I noticed plum pits on the ground. I saw the torn bag and realized the bear had eaten the plums and left the seeds. No big deal, as the plums had spoiled. The bear did not mind my wasted fruit.
That’s when I realized, like Newton with the falling apple, only in this case, me with plum pits, that had it not been for the bears intervention these seeds would have gone to waste, as only humans waste things of value.
I sat with my back against a log and had one of those enlightening moments. A moment about life. And I asked the question, “Can a life be wasted?”
A cascade of stupid, dumb things I had done that changed and formed my life rushed into my awareness. I actually shivered with the remembrance of these life events. The thoughts were a time lapsed version of me triggering cameras of my life, holding my junk, as I ran through life.
Sorry to say, there are useless eaters, there are worthless people and there are too many of them. Sounds harsh, bigoted and non-compassionate. But I believe it to be honest.
I brought many examples to bear. What if I had brought a mongoloid child with me to show him the wonders of nature. Would I have stayed to defend him or leave him to the will of the bear? Would I have sacrificed my life for the defective genes of this child? Even if I fended off the bear the authorities would have charged me with a sex crime for being naked in the wilderness with a special minor.
That’s when I had that glimpse, that moment of lucid understanding, where you see clearly the path you are walking. We have rules. They are not good rules for you but rules to supposedly protect the innocent. At that point I realized there is nothing I could do to help mankind because the rules do not take into consideration the realities of life. So my life would be worthless following the rules. In fact, following the rules would only bring on more trouble.
I know two educated women: college degree and medical degree. They are nice people, but I stand in wonder at how little they know about the American culture, the American way of life. One did not know how to set up a dog’s choke chain for collaring. Sounds picky. But that seems something that you learn growing up. Maybe she didn’t have a dog? Maybe she never saw a neighbor with a dog? Maybe she had no understanding of common everyday physics principles? I can understand that, but then to get a college education and not connect the dots.
The other woman didn’t know Hank Aaron’s claim to fame. I can accept that because I don’t know the most famous ballerina in history.(neither did she) Partly because she was not on the front page of the newspaper section every day for 17 years or on TV news regularly. But I know where to look up the information and can appreciate the dedication a person places into any art, craft or endeavor.
I know the basic fairy tales and think that any educated person would know then either from being told them or telling them to children. Oh but they didn’t have a good childhood and they don’t have children. Well that’s my point.
A person weighing in on how life works who has never been exposed to life as it works is a wasted life. I think it is essential to kick the can down the road. First you have to have a can. Is it a special can? No, it isn’t. It has regular life experiences.
I have no plans to destroy human life. We elect people to do that for us. In fact, those elected officials understand the can and look for people who believe that all cans are created equal. These people prey upon the educated, the egg heads, those who have money and believe they know something about life, about people, about culture.
I only hope they come across that bear.