Monday, 28 March 2011

In Defense of Hope

As this blog may quickly degenerate into a collection of venom and cynicism that could well spiral out of my control, I choose to begin with something I hope will set the tone for my writing here: a declaration of hope.

We are at a crossroads, as a species. The human race stands on the cusp of something great. For all of our history we have been children, playing in our sandbox. Making mud pies and sand castles and scarcely aware, in our way, of how much more there is for us.

But now we are older, and the sandbox is growing crowded. We bicker and fight over trinkets to decorate our little endeavours. We pull each other's hair and kick one another's shins and scream at one another. We lose our tempers and kick down what we have built and threaten to tattle. We refuse to share. We refuse to get along. We push the smaller children aside and bully each other viciously.

There is so much more for us. There is an infinity just beyond our horizons. A universe brimming over with more than we can ever use. Wealth flows in endless rivers just beyond our fingertips, because we will not stand up to take hold of it. It is there. For us.

Our sun provides us more power than humanity can use in millenia. Our solar system is filled with resources we could use to heal our sick and ailing world. Wealth beyond counting, right there for us, if only we can stand up and take those first steps beyond the little, sandy world we know.

There have been a few. Brave souls who have looked and seen what is there. Fewer still with the courage to take a step, or two, outside the walls of our sandbox and return to tell us what we could have.

Think of it. Think of the awesome beauty of a future where there need be no poverty or hunger because we have abundance instead. Think of the majesty of what mankind can build, if only we have the strength to try. A future without want. A future without need. A future bright with opportunity.

An entire galaxy, a universe of energy and water and metal and stone, enough for us to build and dream and play for as long as the stars burn. Enough, and more. For everyone.

All we have to do is to take those first steps.

It will not be easy. Nothing worth the doing ever is. It will be hard, and we must make hard choices. When you are a child, even learning to walk can be difficult. Tying your shoes for the first time can seem like an impossible riddle.

But we learn, if we try. And we can help one another, on the way. Because in this journey, no one needs to be left behind. There is enough to benefit all of us.

So there you have it: The future, if we are brave enough to reach for it. Hope, if we are selfless enough to embrace it.

Or we can stay here in our sandbox, and dig for bottle caps and marbles and bits of string until it's too dark to see and there's no room left for anyone to play.