So the old saying goes: “life’s a bitch”. In my eighteen (well, ok, seventeen years and eight months) years of experience, I’ve come to know this old saying as truth. It is too easy to get into a habit of living life just for lack of alternatives. We don’t see any means of enjoying life other than material comforts and sensory stimulation. Living life in such a way leads to the end of life. Just as the larger group of individuals in the world today are killing themselves in this sense, so is the global human community, or civilization, as we call it. Modern civilization, dating back to the dawn in Mesopotamia, is hell-bent on destroying itself, just as the individuals are. Another old saying states “ignorance is bliss”. Our civilization is ignorant to its self-destructive tendencies just as we individuals are. We have lost the wisdom of how to live, and in its place we’ve created the art of making a living. What is the difference between knowing “how to live” and “how to make a living”? Knowing how to live involves the promotion of life, in all of its many forms. Choosing to hold the essential aspects of human life, and all life, as sacred. Knowing how to make a living is an understanding how to fulfill our material urges, whether it be food, relationships, sex, physical or psychological desires. Acting only on our desires, in spite of any damage of life involved, whether it is our own or another being, is what making a living is all about. An attempt to satisfy unlimited wants and needs with limited resources, “making a living” almost necessitates the harming of life, including harm to those around us ourselves. In “making a living”, we’ve destroyed much of the life on this planet, and that which has suffered the greatest is human life. It is not common to find an individual, much less a group of people, who knows how to live. Quote the contrary, however, we’ve all become very skilled at making a living. We are taught from day one to fend for ourselves, to use the social structures and natural phenomena to satisfy our desires. Yet we aren’t taught the importance of thoughtfulness, whether it be in regard to life itself or in regard to the people around us. We haven’t been taught that rather than trying to satisfy all of our desires, we should focus on satisfying only our needs. Our needs are all but neglected in this day in age, and we’ve come to deny that most are valid needs, other than the physical needs, which are often recognized yet still neglected. We’re killing each other and ourselves. Our “civilization” is nothing more than a machine of death.