One of mankind’s greatest strengths, the ability to control and transform our surroundings, is our greatest weakness. Invention, ingenuity and perceived dominance over the natural order, lead to greed and arrogance.Residing comfortably at the top of the food chain, bloated egos feed on a sense of entitlement. Unstoppable appetites for more money, land, or progress are blind to warnings of collapse.
The Anasazi people of ancient America’s south west believed civilization unstoppable. Rising from the floor of Chaco Canyon, this ancient New Mexico metropolis stood as the jewel of North America. A spiritual and cultural centre, surrounded by remarkably engineered roads leading to a magnificent city; elaborate irrigation systems, dwellings rising 5 or 6 stories along the canyon walls. Exceptional astronomers, farmers and engineers, the Anasazi were masters of their domain. From around 800 AD until 1150 AD they could do no wrong. None saw the extended drought or imagined being unable to feed themselves – the Anasazi vanished.
The Anasazi of Chaco Canyon flourished at the same time as the Maya capital Copan. Arguably one of the greatest, most highly organized civilizations the world has known – cut off at the knees by lack of foresight and regrettable planning. As the population grew, wealthy Maya built palatial homes on fertile soil along rivers; forced to slash and burn surrounding jungle to plant crops, poor soil produced increasingly smaller yields.. Malnutrition and disease made for angry Maya, their last gasp played out in escalating violence and war.
I’m left to ponder how society ignores the past – why is it that mankind believes we are indestructible. We’re no different from the Anasazi or Maya, simply another time and place; equally stubborn, just as oblivious to our actions and ready to pick a fight with anyone who dares get in our way.
Photo credit – http://beautifulplacestovisit.com/ruins/anasazi-ruins-usa/