Looking at things from the long term view

I learned an important lesson yesterday. Having recently been on vacation for three out of four weeks, things in the yard got a bit neglected. I even hired someone to mow my lawn for a number of weeks. Then yesterday, while mowing the lawn and checking out the landscape, I was amazed at the number of weeds there were. At one point, I thought to myself “what has happened that all these weeds all of a sudden appeared–it’s never been like this before!”

At that moment, I realized that I was now looking at things from the long term view. Usually, when I’m home and involved in the landscape, I stop from time to time here and there to pull a few weeds. It’s those occasional stops to pull a weed or do some maintenance which keep them at bay. When I was gone, they all built up. Guess I have to be thankful for the work I do in the short term, and cognizant that sometimes life is viewed only from the short term and not the long term.

Of course, I could apply this newfound philosophy to a lot of things. For example, is there global warming? I am not sure. The short term view tells me “yes.” But, there is no long term view readily availalbe. We know that thousands of years ago the upper midwest underwent and ice age, and those glaciers retreated. Are they still retreating? Does warming or cooling come and go? Science seems to tell us it does. But without a lot of hard evidence, we can’t really know the answer for sure, in the short term. Only the long term view will tell us the answer. But for some of these more profound issues like global warming, can we affort to wait a few thousands–or even millions–of years to find the answer?

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