“The God of Chaos.”

It sounds like the title of a video game, or a villain in the latest superhero movie. But it’s the name given to a huge asteroid that was in the news recently, one that’s supposed to pass closely enough to earth to be visible to the naked eye. But not for another ten years.

We were talking about this not long ago while visiting our daughter. It started with a conversation about what’s going on in the world today, and evolved into the kind of philosophical discussions we often have. They usually follow a natural progression, from “What if the asteroid were to crash into earth?” to “What if mankind were wiped out, like the dinosaurs?” And then they take wild leaps, like “What would you do if you were the supreme being bringing humans back into existence, and could change one thing about them?”

From there we got into issues like free will, greed, and nobility. And whether or not it would be a good idea to wipe out viruses, or if that would actually cause more harm than good, the way things always happen in science fiction movies – and sometimes in real life – when something that’s supposed to eliminate a pest or problem starts growing out of control and becomes a bigger threat than whatever we were trying to get rid of in the first place.

That’s about where our discussion ended, and our conversation turned back to more normal topics. But the question stayed with me for a while about what change I would make in mankind if I were queen of the universe and had that power. I started thinking about all the ills and evils in the world today, and what I might do to eliminate or counteract them. But it seemed that every change I might make would likely have negative consequences in other areas. It didn’t matter whether I was thinking in terms of health, wealth, politics, or power. Or if I were doling out knowledge, wisdom, competence, or compassion. All had a flip side with a potential for other problems.

Then I thought of integrity. If integrity were built into our DNA, it could totally eliminate many of the problems in the world today, without taking away our individuality, or turning people into robots. The only thing automatic would be that acting with integrity in everything we do would be as natural as breathing.

Imagine a world where you could take everyone at their word. A world where you didn’t have to read the fine print, because there would be no need for fine print. A world in which you could disagree with others, but would never have any reason to doubt the sincerity of their beliefs or intentions.

This may sound even more like science fiction than the thought of a huge asteroid heading toward earth. And it probably is. But whenever my mind starts wandering through the land of “What if…” and other philosophical questions, I’d much rather follow it to a world filled with people of integrity than to one threatened by a God of Chaos.

May 17, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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