Which came first; the chicken or the egg? This question has been pondered by many an expert chickenologist, but never thoroughly settled. One might also question which came first, the seed or the mighty maple tree? When standing in the forest we may watch a seed come floating down from a tall stately maple. This may, or may not, be the seed for another beautiful future maple. Only time will tell. However one fact remains, the forest remains constant.
Possibly each day a new tree grows, and another dies, but the forest always remains. It stands as a mute reminderthat there is stability on this land. For centuries a forest lives as an entity, forever rejuvenating itself. Even if a fire should burn it to the ground, it will only be a few years until it is prospering again. Its powers of recuperation are between marvelous and miraculous.
Humanity is much the same as the primeval forest. A child is born, a grandparent may die, but the human race remains like that stately forest. It is ever changing, yet always stable. We, as individuals, are here for but a short period when compared to the length of time humanity has flourished on this earth. We are fleeting, but humanity is stable.
Sociology attempts to study this thought of continous change while yet remaining in a stable condition. Sometimes there is success, other times not, but we continue to search for the answers.
When I was in the United States Navy, many times I was ordered to a new organization, whether it be a different station, or an aircraft squadron. Upon arrival, it would dawn on me that on that date I was making a new beginning. As I was entering this new realm, someone else was leaving it. I was making a new beginning, but the squadron wasn't. There was a constant change of personnel, yet the squadron never changed. Each squadron always had a personality of its own. Some three years later, I would be leaving that same squadron, it never having changed, but it would have partaken in a complete change of personnel in that period.
I have written a separate article on a river, which constantly changes with the addition and deletion of quantitiesof water, yet is always there. Like the river, the forest, or a military unit, humanity itself, is ever changingwith births and deaths, yet is always constant in its longevity.