Why Salmon Have Prospered for Millions of Years Here in Black Point but Humans are in Trouble Already

My best friend Pancho and i are just back from our morning walk on the beach. During this pacific hour of we marvel at the turning of the globe and its wonders. If the tide is out we walk along the deserted sand bar and save the lives of how ever many starfish have gotten themselves stranded, and, when the salmon are running in Lang Creek, as they are right now down at one end of the beach, we watch as the floating fishermen try to entice the running salmon with one last tidbit.

Most mornings i spend some of that blissful hour thinking about the day's blog topic. Today it dawned on me how much better off my fellow humans would be if more of them could swim past the dangling free lunch tidbit, with the same kinda murderous string attached, that the consumer credit industry dangles in front of them. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of salmon passed by the lures undeterred. Up on shore the numbers are usually reversed. Up on shore the fisherman's species are easily deterred from their real goals.

Humans it seems are much less wise than salmon, salmon seem to know their highest goal and that the intermediate goals like food are just tools to be used in their quest. Salmon, unlike humans, know when and why enough is enough.

Humans too have needs, we need enough food, we need enough shelter, we need enough knowledge and education, we need enough comfort and leisure to make life worth living, we need enough security to allow our kids to have the freedom to live decent lives. Like the salmon, we too use tools to achieve our goals. But unlike the salmon we've somehow allowed ourselves to believe that those tools are ends in themselves, we've been deterred from our goal of having enough by the illusion that having bigger, better, shiny new tools is somehow more important than having enough to do the job.

Let's compare 3 washing machines for instance. A washing machine is, like a car, a refrigerator, a hammer - a tool - a washing machine is a tool for getting clothes clean, it's not a status symbol, it's not a statement of self-worth, it's a tool, as long as it gets clothes clean that's enough.

Washing machine #1 is 10 years old, a bit dented and scratched and costs $100. A neighbor who's moving has it for sale in the local newspaper, it does the job perfectly well and you've got the $100 in your pocket. It or may not keep washing clothes as long as a new one but if it breaks down you can either fix it or buy another one you can afford at some time in the future.

Washing machine #2 is brand new and shiny, it too washes clothes and it costs $700 which you may or may not have in your pocket. But let's say you do, and you're willing to gamble that the new one will last way more than 7 times as long as #1 [it's gotta last way longer 'cause you coulda been fulfilling other needs with the $600 difference]. To me, #2 seems like a bad bet because enough is enough, so it seems like a dumb choice.

Then there's #3, if #2 is dumb, #3 is dumber. Washing machine #3 is also brand new, its got all the bells and whistles, all the adjectives, it's gleaming stainless steel it costs #1,500 which you haven't got and it too gets clothes clean. You haven't got $1,500 but [here comes the hook] you've got a credit card and now you're about to prove you're far dumber than most of those salmon cause now you're going to agree to not only pay for all the labour, materials and shipping etc embedded in your shiny new clothes washer but you're going actually be paying the price of two washing machines by the time you get done paying the interest - the string that's attached.