And who are you, the proud lord said,
that I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat,
that’s all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
a lion still has claws,
and mine are long and sharp, my lord,
as long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
that lord of Castamere
And now the rains weep o’er his hall,
with no one there to hear
Yes now the rains weep o’er his hall
and not a soul to hear.
Many of you would recognize the poem above, it isn’t from a great literary work or from the writings of Shakespeare, no, it’s from the popular television series and novel, ‘Game of Thrones.’ In many ways, this poem serves as a comparison to the modern world. Humanity too stands proud, its achievements standing high behind it. Mankind is full of pride, and sometimes too much pride to admit that it is destroying itself. It fails to ‘bow down’ in front of the problems it is facing and has decided to present lies and falsehoods to the general public. Currently, mankind faces seven major problems, pessimistic social stereotypes, climate change, a refugee crisis, global terrorism, lack of innovation in the field of physics, lack of worldwide and literacy and perhaps the biggest one, denial.
“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change” – Michael Jackson
What is denial? Denial is when someone is facing a crisis and decides to think that the situation doesn’t exist, that it has been forged and is fake. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we humans have a natural tendency to deny problems. Almost half of the population surely believe that Climate Change is just a small thing that doesn’t threaten anybody and the other half who do view it as a problem feel that we’re already countering it effectively or it is yet to impact humans on colossal scales. Denial is when you look the lion in the eye and force yourself to believe that it is a cat. Denial threatens to collapse the structures of humanity.
“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis” – Dante
These problems may result in our species going extinct, they’re complex and require dynamic solutions. We can only fight climate change if countries stick together and we can only put an end to terrorism with decisive and strategic strikes. This may seem simple on paper but isn’t in reality. The modern world is full of political tensions and hidden agendas, but sometimes, countries come together to do something good once and for all. A stunning example of this is the International Space Station, an icon of collaboration and a place where people of different nationalities represent only one thing, Earth. It is human nature to not let go of your borders, to try and defeat your enemy and work with your allies but when humans and governments overcome that influence, the results are truly stunning. There are more instances littered through history, instances which experienced mankind banding together. When a species is faced with an extinction level problem, it has a natural urge to eliminate hostile tensions and react accordingly to the situation, it has to evolve or has to die.
A major question that is littering the modern world is “What will be the next key evolutionary process for humans.” Evolution is the reason we exist, but it may also be the reason behind our extinction. Many people, including scientists and world leaders, are asking themselves whether or not the next evolutionary change will be natural or artificial, what if it is meant to be artificial and our lack of knowledge regarding it may be the reason behind our end. If we were to draw an analogy and term the Earth as the ‘host,’ we would instantly become the virus. The behaviour of our species is viral in nature. In order to better understand this fact, you need to comprehend a key fact, the dinosaurs lived for 66 million years, 330 times the amount of time humans have lived (humans have lived for a paltry 200,000 years). Despite living for a phenomenally long amount of time, the dinosaurs never brought life close to extinction purposefully, nor did they ever change the composition of the atmosphere and they never invented extremely dangerous weapons which could practically reform the face of the planet. Humans are like a virus due to their behaviour. If you had to sum up all of mankind’s history on this planet, it would be similar to the following lines
- Inhabited a host
- Established states, empires and borders and killed each other like no species ever before
- Replicated without order, exponentially, starved the host of its resources
- Altered natural conditions on the host,
- Getting prepared to leave it, at least making plans to spread to other hosts (Mars, the moon etc.)
Got this? A typical virus inhibits a host, devastates it and moves on and that is what we are doing. If we don’t alter our practices right now, we may never get to experience a binary sunset, we may never breathe in the air of a planet far, far away and we will never get to see movies such as ‘alien’ come to life.
The very existence of life requires destruction, our existence required the destruction of the dinosaurs. If we want to progress up the Kardashev scale and become an interstellar species, we have to destroy these problems, destroy tensions, destroy borders and truly become one.
If you ever think that your actions won’t be able to achieve anything, think about the world you will be creating for future generations, think about what is still out there, what mysteries are waiting for us in the dark expanses of space and with time, where will humans be.