We make a difference because for us biology is only the first thrust of existence. We also come from an extraordinary history of creativity. Our investigation and enactment of this rich and wide perspective has propelled us toward cares, concerns and resources well beyond those stipulated by raw nature and immediacy.
Indeed, this is why you study autonomy and life. Such study doesn’t exempt you from nature’s indifference, of course. You are very much at the effect of its laws. Moreover, you can’t help but realize that you are also at the effect of historically shaped social rules and conventions that constrain and impel your decisions and choices.
Yet, your study enables you to be a legitimate determinant in the arrangement of your life and a positive factor in the possibilities for others. Said another way, yes, you are whipsawed between nature’s brute programming and America’s civilizing demands upon its citizens. Still, via your study and practice, you have achieved a graceful balance of authority and acceptance and, at the same time, extended your care and concern into the larger world.
No one would deny that all of us live in challenging times. But it is a fact that human beings have always lived in challenging and, for many, desperate times. We struggle with the world’s uncaring disasters (its droughts, floods, fires, famines and earthquakes). And we struggle with the fears and disappointments of the “me first and foremost” ego.