A strange hobby of mine is looking at archive footage on YouTube. The clip below shows a heated discussion between a group of union bosses for garbage collectors and city officials in New York, at a time when the mob had an enormous amount of control, and the country was on fire over Vietnam and civil rights.
It’s well worth a watch, even for a few minutes.
What does this clip, and others like it, show?
We’ve always been the same. I bet hunter gatherers had similar conversations about where to forage, how much time they spent doing that versus hunting, how long to spend in a certain patch of land before moving on, the politics of how to disperse food amongst the group, or deal with a rambunctious member causing trouble…
People are people. Wherever we are. We’re moulded by the times we’re born into, but we’re fundamentally the same creatures we’ve always been.
We’re fleshy apes, trapped on a rock, hurtling endlessly through an uncaring, unfathomable universe. So, we need to show each other (and ourselves) love, and understanding, and forgiveness, as we try to muddle through and do the right thing while we’re here.
Because no matter what our high-minded ideals, we can all agree life is a damn sight better when the rubbish is collected every week. And that takes some sorting out.