While self-preservation may be the primary and the instinctive nature of man, it has lent itself to every aspect of life. First there is this avid need to possess and hoard and this is followed by extreme precaution and care taken to prolong the existence and life of the possession, be it animate or inanimate.
Whether it be given the name of duty or just a desire to prolong its use, or just to save an unnecessary expenditure, it’s all done in the name of preservation. Everything has to have as long a life as possible and all that is required, is done to fulfil this wish and no efforts are spared to achieve the same. Everything has to be maintained. Maintenance which equates preservation is a key word in our life, be it the home or corporate world or family or relationships or social conditions or just accounts.
One likes to live as long as possible so every care is taken to preserve this life. Lo and behold one sees the rise of the medical industry, the massage parlors, and the gyms. The tourism industry does its job by giving nature trips and peaceful getaways. Not far behind are the health facilities and clinics and the dieticians and yoga centers and the various therapies to maintain mental balance. After all it’s not just the physical but the mental health has to be preserved as well. So the various play grounds and walkabouts and jogging tracks for the children and the adult and the elders separately, catering to the needs of each.
Then the humans need houses to stay in. They require maintenance which involve a lot of activities like painting and repairing and waterproofing and flooring and rebuilding and plumbing and electrical fittings and the furniture and fixtures to mention a few. Of course one cannot build or buy a house often…well at least the common man cannot do so… he preserves it and maintains it and sees to it that everything in the house is maintained for long use. The repair industry is doing well indeed.
There are the other attachments that go with our life the various things that we use that include all kinds of machinery…ah we like to maintain them too…again can’t replace them too often…an expensive affair indeed.
Then there are the textile items. While clothes may be bought frequently the more pricey items and accessories are bought infrequently. The costume jewellery, the silk rugs and jackets and woolen clothes and the expensive boots and shoes. They are preserved and kept in correct conditions, moth balls and powdering, airing and sunning and a variety of activities go with it, very time consuming, but they have to be preserved.
Then there are the food items packed or bottled or preserved. The packaging industry and the preservative chemicals are doing well. The refrigerator has done best of all as that really saves the time of the house wife and stops food from deteriorating and saves time as well. Most useful product as a result of the avid need.
Then the need to preserve the written material and so the need to preserve as paper deteriorates. Thus first the Xerox machines and now the computers do come in handy. No it didn’t stop there …the computer is not too dependable and there is every possibility that the data may disappear so we need backups. The discs and external hard drives, the usb and now the cloud all serve the purpose.
And what of relationships? They need to be preserved too, thru the endless twists and turns of emotions and sacrifices and overlooking’s….it’s a duty or it’s an attachment or it’s just plain habit. We need support, we need help…..humans can’t make it through life completely alone being essentially dependent….though an adult will vehemently deny it, as man is always wont to declare himself a superior force no matter that he is very puny before the forces of nature, so preserve he must.
Even in death a will is made to pass on this legacy of preservation so that the next generation may wallow in it and most probably will add to it or destroy it to form other preservations so to speak.
Our need for ease and the innate characteristic of dependency has indeed developed a system whereby preservation seems to have become a corner stone of life, a pivot if u will around which revolves a life that keeps one fairly busy. After all man wants to be comfortable and must have luxuries but cannot or won’t indulge in wasteful expenditure for obvious reasons of future security… barring the extremely rich who are few indeed and splurge as they will…. Ends up in this endless cycle of preservation that takes up most of his time and energy. Indeed preservation has kept man sincerely busy for generations. Since civilization dawned this seems to be one of the quests that man has continuously pursued and continues to do so.
The irony is that everything perishes, only the life span varies, this very earth will perish one day and all that we know will become extinct. We live in a dimension where nothing is immortal. Everything that begins ends. Whatever starts anew also ends. Yet we want to prolong the life of all that we know and see as much as we can.
One could argue that this is how we value everything. This is how we respect what we get, we use it till it serves us no more, but in the mean time we preserve. We do not waste. However the western throw away culture is fast eroding Asia’s preservation culture, which means that things will perish that much faster.
Not to forget the race now for the preservation of the species, hence the zoos and the protection given to animals near extinction and also of course the national parks. Of course no need to preserve man already the earth is overloaded with human weight. Be that as it may we waste no effort to create wax statues and other models. Of course then there is always cryogenics that serves the need to outlast time itself in the hope that mankind will surpass godly powers and successfully resurrect after many years biology and physics allowing the same of course…until then the earth will be burdened by these preserved corpses!
We are heading for troubled times indeed for if everything perishes then what will we preserve? Perhaps we will then turn to another quest, one more lofty and elevating than the materialism and destructive culture of modern times! Until of course the final gong is sounded…but then we may find other ways to continue…the desire for life is tenacious and refuses to let go.