Borderline Personality Users' Manual

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I was eating lunch outside on a Tuesday in September. Summer runs a little long in Dallas, and it had been above 37°C for a record number of days, even beating the infamous 1980 heat wave. But this day was just about perfect: calm breeze, 28° and not a cloud in the sky. I was eating something from Panda Express, sitting at a table under an umbrella as I watched the traffic and listened to the bustle of lunch-time.
It was easy for me to forget the ever-increasing pile of troubles burdening me, but I did reflect on them. Then I began to examine them. And I was pretty grateful that I was able to have lunch and enjoy the weather. In fact, as troubles go, I have a relatively light burden. As a human, I am well-fed, relatively healthy and I sleep well. As a citizen, I don't fear government oppression, and terrorist attacks are rare enough that I can afford to be complacent.
As a species, humans don't have to do much to avoid the perils that threaten other creatures. I mean, here we are, going about our business, and there are no predators looking for the weak and sick to pick off. But, there are such threats. Every year, thousands of people die from the flu. And there are a myriad of potentially lethal bugs out there. Fortunately, malaria is almost unheard of in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, we have pretty much beat all the diseases that used to kill our ancestors. The simple act of bathing has done more for the longevity of our species than anything medical science can claim.
So, I spent a comfortable afternoon in the sun, enjoying a reprieve from oppressive summer heat that is the norm in Dallas. It was evident that others appreciated it as much as I, and some people even walked!
And it was glorious. Some day, with certainty, an asteroid will collide with our planet, and everything will change.I realize this sounds very grim and morbid, but it's not likely to happen within the lifetime of anyone living now. Some scientists are sure it will happen in the next 50 thousand years. By that time I would expect humans to be living on other planets, at least within our solar system. So, I'm not worried. civilizations will fall and rise and fall again many times over in a relatively short time, geologically speaking. And "if we do not destroy ourselves," to quote Carl Sagan, "we will one day venture to the stars." I believe this.Humans will survive. We can overcome disease. We must overcome the other ills unleashed by Pandora: greed, corruption, pettiness, apathy, and so on.
And some day, someone will be enjoying a sunny day, on a planet warmed by a distant star. I wave hello from a distant earth.

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