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Checks and Balances
Checks and balances are mechanisms that can be used to explain how life flourishes on Earth in general and how our society can function effectively in particular. There are checks and balances in Nature to keep all living things in their places to share the limited resources harmoniously. There are checks and balances in society setup by us to ensure a fair playing field for everyone. Checks and balances enable vast varieties of different species to live together in a closed but regenerating environment. Checks and balances allow a 7 billion and still growing population to co-exist in a man-made and self-sustaining world. Checks and balances are not an option but a necessity since the Big Bang. Checks are the means to create balances or equilibriums in growth and development.
The Big Bang
Our universe came into existence around 14 billion years ago in a process called the Big Bang. We do not yet know what triggered this process. But, through the efforts of countless scientists over the past 2000 years, we have roughly identified the physical laws that were and still are guiding the formation and development of all the galaxies, stars, planets, etc. In the universe, it is estimated that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies of various sizes, shapes, and ages. In our galaxy, the Milky Way, it is estimated that there are hundreds of billions of stars of various sizes, shapes, and ages. Some of these stars harbor planets of various sizes, shapes, and ages. Some of those planets were formed with the right conditions to sustain life forms. Our Earth is one of them. The physical laws are the checks and balances that make all the in-animated objects in the universe behave in stable and predictable ways such that the animated objects can arise to be followed by the life forms.
The Life Forms
There are billions of life forms on Earth with different sizes and functions. The smallest moving life form is the bacteria that can be found everywhere. The largest moving life form is the blue whale that makes its living only in the ocean. With the exception of the human species, the functions of the living things on Earth are to find food, survive the environment, and reproduce to complete the life cycle. Some can convert sunlight into food. Some consume grasses or plants. Some are predators that live on other living things. Their ways of life are different but they can all co-exist in an ecosystem that makes sure that Earth’s limited resources are utilized optimally, and wastes and decays are recycled.
All these balances are the results of a simple checking mechanism called DNA. Every living thing on Earth is based on DNA that is passed on from generation to the next with slight modifications and thus, is also responsible for all the variations in forms and functions. The DNA works on a simple principle of mix and match, trial and error. After close to a billion year of tinkering in Earth’s early environment, there came the first working model, the bacteria. From it, different and more complex living things branched out through a slow but efficient evolution process. Along the way, those living things that were not able to adapt or outlive their food sources would die out. After 3 billion long years, there comes the human species that is on the top branch of this tree of life.
The human species in a comparatively short evolutionary time takes over Earth as its personal property. Through the humans’ special mental and physical capabilities, our population explodes in an exponential rate while the Earth’s resources dwindle in an alarming pace. We realize that we have to implement our own checks and balances to ensure our survival. The check is in the form of a government whose functions are to take care of the welfare of the people in a balance and sustainable way. These include:
1) Building public infrastructures – freeways, libraries, recreational parks, etc.,
2) Enacting and enforcing laws of civility,
3) Introducing agencies to check the integrity of all the businesses that do not employ unscrupulous methods to make money,
4) Enforcing environmental protection policies, energy conservation regulations, and encouraging the development of renewable and non-polluting powers from the sun, wind, and geothermal.
5) Space exploration and colonization to seek new frontiers of physical space and energy resources.
The government tries to provide the general needs of its people and reconcile their specific interests to promote a controlled, holistic, and environmental friendly growth.
We, the humans, had found out very early that the only way to survive the harsh and unpredictable environment was to band together to share our unique talents. As we had conquered and solved most of the great unknown presented by Nature, the population grew along with the increasing conflicts between the haves and the have-nots as well as the many ideas as to how to spend and enjoy our leisure times. An effective government will manage to share the wealth among its people and check that all ideologies are tolerated, embraced, and appreciated.
Nature uses checks and balances to keep things in order and under control in its Garden of Eden. Living things have evolved from the simple organism that is totally at the mercy of the environment to the ultra complex human species with the capabilities to turn Nature’s playground into a lifeless wasteland. But, the human species also has the intelligence to recognize that checks and balances are the salvation from destructions and the means to a world where there is life after death, and that honesty, integrity, friendship are more important than the pursuit of fame, wealth, and physical pleasures.
Nature with its limited physical space and resources can accommodate seemingly unlimited varieties and numbers of living forms. It accomplishes this feat with a design based on flexibility and change. Its emphasis is on adaptability and survivability not specialization and superiority. We, the human species, have long learned that it is the common people with a simple parental urge that will pass on the family bloodline. It is the average Joe longing for a simple and stable life that will carry on the torch of the human’s civilization. Checks and balances ensure that Nature’s simple design is implemented to its optimal effectiveness.