Two hundred and seventy-five years ago the Industrial Revolution planted seeds of a better world in human minds. Twenty years ago people believed by 2017, flying cars would populate the streets and childhood cancer wouldn’t exist. In 1980, a program called Superfund was created by Congress to help protect the environment from harmful and hazardous waste. In 2017, the Trump administration cut $330 million from the Superfund budget, minimizing the funding by 31 percent. Here we are, sitting at the lower abdomen of the beast of 2017, and we are moving backwards.
Instead of flying cars, our streets are stormed by modern day humans wearing the faces of foes and criminals from decades ago, declaring words that are banned from books across the world. Instead of cures for cancer, we are openly spreading hate and killing each other based on demographics and beliefs. And we have the nerve to call this progress.
In 300 A.D., Easter Island was one of the most diverse and beautiful land masses in the Pacific. It was not only home to a large number of seabirds, but also grew rare species of plants and trees. Soon the Polynesians found this hidden gem and from 1400-1600, thousands of citizens flourished.
In attempt to prove their wealth, tribal chiefs constructed large statues with resources from all across the island. To transport these materials, the civilians had to destroy many of the trees that called Easter Island home. After such vicious competitions between the tribes, the Polynesians managed to exhaust all of their materials, which caused several plant and animal species to go extinct and forced the people to cannibalism. By 1877, only 111 inhabitants remained on Easter Island.
This could be our future, should we choose to accept the course we are on.
We were blessed with this beautiful planet Earth, and yet, we continue to compete, exploit, and destroy each other for no reason. There are much bigger pictures to create instead of following a paint-by-numbers with lines previously drawn by social norms. In the first part of “The Divine Comedy”, “Inferno”, Dante wrote, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.”
There are two futures calling, which are we going to answer?