Humankind has spent its collective existence in fomenting revolutions. From the first tool in the hand of early man 2.6 million years ago to Bluetooth peaking out from the ears of our children, we have evolved.
We have rid the world of some diseases and created others. We have learned how to feed everyone and how to kill without being nearby. We have woken the beasts of hatred and avarice and we feed them well.
We had the Agriculture Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Sexual Revolution and the Computer Revolution. I am sure there is more to come in the not too distant future.
We crow about how much better our lives are and shiver in fear at what we have created. People all over the world go hungry and die of diseases we have cured simply because it costs too much to get current medicines and food to those in need and those in greed want more.
We have gone from living hand to mouth and growing what we needed to a society that is a gluttonous example of excess. So much of the world is hungry but there’re those who have more than enough to eat but do seem able to share. And that New World? It is controlled by a chip. Ironic isn’t it?
In the first world countries we are surrounded by computers. There are computers in our toasters, our cars, our prosthesis. We are not alone, ever. That chip is listening and watching everything. And the language that chip, that computer speaks? It’s the ones and zeros. It’s a language that very few of us can speak fluently. That should frighten us.
Living for the future often means missing the present.
When I was child one of my favorite toys was a series of action figures known as ‘the Johnny West series’. They were a series of 12 inch articulated plastic action figures centered around a Western theme. I don’t remember the names of all the human characters but there were some figures I’ll never forget. There was Thunderbolt and Thundercolt: a Mare and her foal. Then there was the pony Poncho, and the stallion Flame. When all my friends were playing with Barbie and Ken I was much more interested in Johnny West and his family. They had teeny, tiny clothes as well as guns and all the kitchen utensils required for a campfire. There were saddles and bridles and all the accoutrements necessary for the horses. It was heaven for a child with an imagination!
Playing outside in the grass with my action figures stirred my imagination and I believe it is responsible for my love of storytelling. I was not an only child and I had lots of friends but I loved nothing more than playing in the long grass in the back of our yard, just me and my imagination.
I worry about children nowadays. Their imagination is not their own. It is force fed to them through video games and 24 hour television. You don’t need to wonder what it’s like to camp in the Amazon because there is a video that shows you what it’s all about! I wonder what will happen when our ability to fantasize becomes stymied. We are starting to complain nowadays that the new movies we’re seeing are all special effects with very little substance. On the other hand we are also seeing a lot of rehashed movies. The story’s been told 100 times with different characters and in different locales but it’s the same story.
I remember when a new movie was cause for excitement. It truly was something that had never been seen before. Now people pick apart a movie and tell you exactly where they got each scene from, because it’s been done before. I find that sad. What happened to originality? What happened to children playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians? What happened to imaginary friends? I remember climbing to the top of the hill behind my house and fantasizing that I was conquering the Alps. I can remember playing in a Creek near where I lived and fantasizing that I was an explorer in a section of the Nile that had never seen a white woman. Don’t you miss those days?
If we lose the ability to use our imagination our lives will become stunted. It is already showing signs of that. We cannot afford to lose fantasy and idealism. We need our children to dream, to have invisible friends, to carry the spark that we had when we were children. Never lose the whimsy. If we do I fear there’s no hope for a wondrous future.
Thunderbolt from pininterst.com
THE PASSING OF TIME
A HOLLOW CRY IN THE DARKNESS
BIRDS TAKE FLIGHT IN FEAR
MAN REFUSES TO BELIEVE.
POWER TO CHANGE AT A WHIM
THE ARROGANCE OF THE SPECIES
BUT STILL THE TUNNEL BECKONS
TO ALL THERE IS AN END.
OUR TIME TO STAY IS FINITE
THE PASSAGE DUES ARE HIGH
AND YET WE SEEK AN ANSWER
AN OPENING, AN ESCAPE.
JUDGE YOUR TIME HERE CAREFULLY
AND SEEK THOSE SPECIAL DREAMS
FALTER NOT, BUT STRIVE AHEAD
THE CLOUDS WE FLEE ARE NEAR.