Roaches and Rats Will Take Over the World

Florida Palmetto Bug

It might not be a nuclear war or an environmental calamity that destroys humanity. We might extinct ourselves from the inside out by killing our spirit and damaging our sanity beyond repair. Many of us are concerned about global warming, the effects of fracking on the environment, polluted air, green-house gas effects, contaminated water, and melting ice caps. We fear that these might be vehicles driving us to an ecological disaster which will destroy our blue planet and as a casualty drive the human species extinct. At the end cockroaches and rats will survive, the scavengers that can live in polluted filth and eat anything organic or not.
While I agree that once the era of homo sapiens comes to an end cockroaches and rats will continue, I disagree as to the way we will manage to destroy our species. I do not think it will be via an ecological disaster or a nuclear conflict. I believe we will do it to ourselves because of how we structured our society. Humans’ biggest asset and what differentiates us from other animals is the capability to create abstract systems. We invented religion, economics, and politics. No other animal has done so. Religious humans believe that giving up certain benefits today will lead to a nirvana or heaven in the afterlife. Try to convince a monkey to exchange a banana today for an everlasting life in heaven. Talk a dog into exchanging a juicy bone for a handful of green papers. Maybe the closest that animals come to an abstract thought is via politics, they do have social structures and often via direct combat elect a leader of their pack. They certainly cooperate and build coalitions within their tribe but in a monkey land, I am not aware of a two-party system with branches such as executive, legislative, and judicial. Animals do not have to pay taxes, buy insurance or register cars. Because of their lack of abstract thought and capability to establish imaginary systems, animals are not as successful of a menace as we the humans are, cockroaches and rats again noted as an exception.
But where humans significantly fail is in the mental health arena. Throughout our existence as a species, we have survived various calamities such as plagues, wars, draughts and each other; today we seem to be suffering from a lack of mental capacity to maneuver the complex systems that we established. Clearly there are still pandemics, COVID-19 being a perfect example and wars such as the one happening right now in Ukraine. Amazingly when we unite as world citizens, we are able to deal with these types of disasters. Science and technology offer life saving vaccines. Politics, economics, and technology provide strong resistance to war-hungry aggressors. However, we cannot manage the rapid spread of mental illness. We suffer from obesity, drugs, and alcohol – common human addictions. There are many cases of anorexia and cutting, mostly in the younger demographics, probably a sign of feeling not in control. PTSD and bulimia are detrimental to people and are often triggered by a previous life trauma. Depression, social anxiety, incongruence between who we are and who we want to be all contribute to a reduced enjoyment of life. And there is stress, not the good kind of stress that drives us to achievement but the bad type of stress that drives us to unhealthy life styles, chronic health issues and misery.
I am currently of the opinion that it will not be the external forces that eliminate humanity from this planet. I postulate that it will be our greatest talent and our greatest skill of abstract thought, recognizing patterns and creating complex systems that will get us. We will simply create a world around us that is too complex for us to exist in and we will kill ourselves from the inside out experiencing uncontrollable, unsustainable run-away mental anguish. At the end cockroaches and rats will inherit our greatest achievements and move into our abounded high-rises and luxury condominiums.
Time to take a personal assessment of our individual mental health and if things are not copacetic hire a professional, make changes, survive, or better yet – let’s get happy.

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