TOURIST

DEFINITION

Tourist
Someone who travels for pleasure


In most parts of the world, people are becoming richer, wouldn’t you say? And if there’s more money to spend you can rest assure that people are going to want to do some serious holidaying. In fact one of the biggest businesses in the world is now tourism. But it’s not the two week holidaymaker to the beach we are concerned about here, it is something more profound than that. You see, as I have been observing people recently as they go about their daily business, it came to me that actually the whole human race are really tourists on this planet!

I can hear you muttering and disagreeing already. “Why, the human is the finest species on the planet, look what he has achieved!” Indeed, let’s have a look at what the human has achieved.

Spent the last few millennia killing each other.
Spent the last few millennia controlling and killing other animals.
Spent the last few millennia digging up the earth for profit.
Spent the last few millennia cutting down trees for profit.
Spent the last few millennia distancing himself from nature.

And that’s just the start!

I’m sure you think I am always being negative, but in terms of what good the human has done for the planet as a whole, we can wholeheartedly say, nothing. That’s why it’s so hard to for people to understand what we are doing here! We work, we earn money, we pay our bills, we bring up a family, and contribute to society (forcibly through taxation). What else is there to do? Oh yes, go on holiday! But the going on holiday is just the final act of tourism, the real tourism involves what we do every day. From work, to school, to the arts, and even to science.

Let me ask you a question. What is our purpose on this revolving mass, in the middle of nowhere? Any idea? Nor have any of us. Some of us think we are here for a higher purpose, some think we have to go through this life before we reach heaven. In fact most people think that the reason we are here is because we are waiting to go somewhere else – sort of like a holding area before you move on to greater things!

It’s no wonder that people happily trudge into work every day earning money just to pay the bills and save enough to go on holiday once or twice a year.

The point is, the six billion of us on this planet have long since been an asset, and I include myself in that.

We may believe we are here for a higher purpose, but back in reality, which, like it or not, faces us every day, there is a real planet, with real resources, and real animals, and real birds, and real oceans that we trample over.

Let me ask you one more question. If life is give and take. when have humans ever given to the earth?

What could we possible offer an earth that is already in perfect harmony and balance? Nothing. So we just keep on taking, and we argue with each other over whose bit of land it is, and we kill each other over whose god is better. Let’s face it, we have become…

Surplus to requirements

Sounds harsh? Well unfortunately, I am yet to be convinced that the human with his large brain, tool making hands, and wanton desire for destruction is doing anything other than being a tourist on this land. A species that was no longer contributing may be expected to go extinct, but oh no, not us, we have used our intellect to overcome nature and control it. Nature no longer rules. We do.

It all seems a bit strange sitting here writing that we are superfluous (serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being). Maybe everyone else worked this out a long time ago and that is why they have attached themselves to a higher purpose! Maybe our ancestors looked at nature and thought: “Well, we control everything now, What’s next?”

In our rush to conquer and dominate, we have forgotten one important thing. We are not the only ones on this planet. Yet that seems of no concern to the powerful.
“If they wanted it, they could take it,” they say “If only they had the brain power to do it. We are the dominant species, and that’s that!”
I wonder how many times the same patch of grass has been conquered by different parties, all fighting to the death, all to be able to put up a piece of cloth you call a flag – to stand “triumphant” in battle. All the while the rest of the world just carries on with its daily business. The trees sway in the breeze, the animals graze, the birds sing, the ants keep building their nests. It’s almost as if they don’t even know we exist. If they have any kind of awareness of humans, they keep it to themselves. What would they be thinking? I know if I were an animal capable of complex thought, I would think: “Whose idea was it to create that species?”

Are you following my line of thought here, or do you find it rather distasteful to be described as surplus to requirements? Don’t worry, I’m not singling out any race, or person in particular, I’m talking about all of us.

We spend our leisure time on planes, and boats, and roads, we observe with great interest the giant panda in the cage, we observe with great interest the castle of the queen, we observe with great interest the artefacts in the museum, and all the while the world passes us by…

The mighty
The powerful
The brave
and other pointless words used to describe humans…

If I were to try to understand this world, I would see it as a place where different species exist. Where every species has an innate (not established by conditioning or learning) purpose, that of keeping the planet in balance – nothing more, nothing less. But we came along, didn’t we?

Whether we evolved from the apes, were created by “god,” or flew in from another planet, it doesn’t really matter; what matters is what we are up to now, which is basically nothing.

Everything we create is pointless. Everything we create for meaning, has no meaning. Do you understand?

We go to work every day to earn a bit of cash to feed the family, buy stuff, save a bit, and go on holiday.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a spaceship designer, a road sweeper, an atomic physicist, a doctor, or a door to door salesman.

All the education you have is just so that someone can give you a job. No matter how interesting the job, it is all an illusion, it does nothing to help this planet named earth to survive. In fact most of what we are doing is probably shortening its life by a few years, but we won’t be around for that.

We are truly an observer in this world. It’s just like sitting in the land rover gazing over the savannah’s of africa on our thousand pound safari; observing all the pretty animals and birds, being scared of the ones with big teeth, and knowing we have ultimate control over all that happens here.

We know this because we have created the atomic bomb, and in a matter of hours, we can destroy the whole planet. Every human, every building and most animals.

But after we are gone, there will always be an insect or organism left to keep life going on this planet.
But we will be gone.

No animal or fish will ever remember us because they never knew we were here in the first place, and the world will once again try to regain the balance that the humans destroyed. In summary, it’s no wonder people drink alcohol. At least they can find some kind of meaning in the bottom of the glass.

Wake up to what you are doing fellow tourists.
It’s time to stop sightseeing and start contributing to creation,
not destruction.


by alan macmillan orr

“The natural mind- waking up”

2009

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