A lot has changed on our planet since we left the trees. Our ability to communicate gave our species an advantage when it came to hunting and managing the safety of the group. We repurposed sticks and bones that we found to create our first technology. We created tools and weapons and fashioned housing for our families.
With the use of storytelling and education, we didn’t have to start over with each generation. The next generation could pick up where the last one left off. Humans could now add to the knowledge of those who came before, allowing them to come up with previously inconceivable ideas.
Agriculture is probably the most influential discovery mankind has ever made. Farming gave a steady source of food while only a portion of the population had to work the fields. Other humans could serve the needs of a growing civilization.
Governments, made up of humans, have served to rule the people and keep order in their community. Laws were made, usually with the aid of religion, to ensure order was maintained. Punishments were often used to dissuade the people from breaking the law.
When governments of different communities met, the use of politics allowed the communities to settle disagreements with diplomacy. Unfortunately, our ancestors often chose to wage wars instead of using their words.
Our species is innovative and made a science out of everything to make it better. We created math and statistics to manipulate numbers and use them to make predictions. We improved our medicines to prolong our lives. We discovered electricity which helped to ease our daily work and drastically increased our ability to further innovate.
Despite the progress and innovation our species has made, we are not perfect. Inequality continues to exist in the form of racism and sexism. These are two problems that stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of our own bodies. Skin color is caused by a protein; sex is caused by a chromosome. Add in the complexities of gender and there’s bound to be a lot of confusion, especially when talking about traditions like marriage.
We currently live in a world dominated by entertainment and plastered with advertisements. Companies use sex and fear to sell their products and have even taken control of the media, allowing all this to become “normal.” Even basic ideas like property are normalized through the widespread reach of entertainment technology. When we take a step back, it seems crazy that we spend so much time and energy talking about frivolous things like fashion and sports.
At this moment, our species is at a crossroads. The Internet has given a voice to everyone with access to it and, more importantly, has allowed for a mixture of cultures and ideas. With all this information, we have a choice to make: do we continue along the path we’ve been traveling or embark on something entirely different.
The path we travel on now involves the marginalization of peoples that are seen as “lesser” by those who are in charge. For example, the statistics on the War on Drugs bring up questions about the purpose of the effort. It mostly seems to incarcerate young black and brown men, despite equal drug usage among all races.
The other path is one that we have not tried and it often feels impossible. Throughout time, there have always been dreamers and artists, sharing their thoughts through music or performance. It is love that drives the dreamers and love always inspires more love. We can choose to go down the familiar road because it is familiar, or we can choose the terrifying unknown.
The unknown path leads to love and understanding but it will not come easy. It wasn’t easy to adapt to the tough times when we had to leave our homes in the trees. It wasn’t easy to manipulate the land and grow our own food. It wasn’t easy to begin communicating on a global scale at the speed of light; but we did it anyway.
None of our greatest accomplishments as a species have come easy; it’s what makes them so great. The road ahead of us will not be an easy one but we will take that road anyway. The only way we can possibly fail is if we stop trying, and the dreamers will never allow that!