Reframing Evolution

If we evolved from apes, then why are there still apes?

I often laugh at the pictures which I conjure when pondering this question. I imagine a large group of apes, interestingly referred to as a “shrewdness,” huddled in the deep forest of a remote part of the world and discussing whether or not they should make a break for it. I picture one ape and his family stepping up and saying, “We’ll do it, we’ll go!” I wonder how the descendants of the apes who stayed behind would feel. Are they angry or envious? Do they long for running water, toilet paper, trips to the beach or Chipotle?

Whether or not one particularly brave group of apes actually realized that there was more to life than they could find in the wild is one of the issues at the root of the evolution discussion. Frankly, I neither spend any time worrying about evolution in its broader context nor do I concern myself with the particular origin of the human species.

What I do spend significant amounts of time concerned about is my own evolution. This is the evolution that counts. Am I progressing toward a more Balanced and Focused reality in my daily walk? Am I leveraging the highs and lows in my days to better develop my approach to life? Am I learning and growing as a result of my experiences? Am I making the most of the dash between my birth and my reward?

There are three major areas in my life in which I am most focused on evolving:

Abandoning Control– I like to take command. Although this trait can be helpful and necessary, it needs to be metered in appropriate doses. There was a lot accomplished before I was born; very few things require my immediate involvement. I try to hold back as much as possible nowadays. I am recovering from being a control freak.

Resigning from Political Office– I don’t like politics. Politics is about perception and not reality. So many everyday situations are charged with politics and “vote-getting.”  What others think about me is none of my business. I am focused on being authentic… no matter what!

Bel Far Niente– BEAUTIFUL DOING NOTHING! In the never-ending churn of duties and activities, having fun is almost always the first thing to go. A close friend wrote to me recently asking, “What’s so merry about a merry-go-round?” Unplugging from “the matrix” resets my soul and allows me to focus on the people and behaviors that matter the most. It mends what is broken inside of me.

Breaking from the shrewdness’ influence when it no longer serves my health or well-being is no simple task. It starts with my realization that my personal evolution is a transformation which I direct. This empowers me to make the break to a better life. Thinking that I need to keep up with “the Joneses” is my road to perdition. In solitude, I can assess both what’s working and what’s not working in my life. Over time and with effort and resolve, my new life-giving habits will displace the old habits that no longer serve me.

I love the idea of more people focusing intently on their own personal evolution.

Do you ever feel as if you are negatively influenced by the mindset of a larger group? Consider making time for some solitude, during which you can contemplate the ways in which you are being called to evolve. 

Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying….cause you are!

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