Letter to the Future. I - Either side of a Turning Point
24 January 2009 Either side of a Turning Point. Wasted the widsom and insights of capable humans too often become. With a desire to embark on epic projects of the betterment of oneself or the world at large, I like others often allow my motivations to dwindle down from their familiar, emotional peak achieved after reading or witnessing something profound, to that equally familiar place of stagnation where instead of real initiatives I settle for funeralistic statements of memorial, like, "wouldn't the world be better if..." Having just put down "The Future of Life," and having had this project in mind for awhile now, I have to admit that I don't know how to imagine you - the future of our species. Essentially, these will be letters to the yet unarrived, a handful of notes waiting for the days you begin to value the many infinite experiences that came before you in the anticipation of ones to come. But what form or name you the Future will take - nephew, niece, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter - I can't predict. Similarly unpredictable is the world you will enter. And so, in my mind, I'm writing you from the far side of one of life's many turning points, from that place distant to you rising and falling across the fulcrums of time. What excites me, and as you'll learn, concerns me, is the nature of those fulcrums. Tragedy, catastrophe, triumph and innovation have changed our course and they all will visit us again for further reorienting. As I write, the state of life on our Earth reflects the self-image of its most prolific large animal. Humanity has exalted itself on altars of consumption, constructed at an ever-increasing rate within the temples of self. Topping malaria or AIDS or even the lightning swift (and currently celebrity) H1N1, is the entitlement epidemic, a scourge to rule and govern all scourges. With it my maiden America has purchased herself enemies of the most virulent class, those who not only harbor no fear of death but welcome the riches waiting there atop thrones reserved for martyrs. Greed begets greed and it is that character - not the material medium in which a certain culture chooses to exercise it - that should seize our attention and raise our consciousness. It is my hope to wander with you through the time between you and I, until Future arrives in whatever form gets here first - be you a young man to add to the small majority in our little Peterson clan, or a young lady to further embolden the mighty minority which - if acknowledged honestly - hold's power anyway. In order to best understand what will undoubtedly become incoherent rants at times, I implore you to listen. Not to me necessarily, or any person for that matter; but grant your ear to Earth and the endless worlds next to which, in which, and around which ours orbits. From your attention, shed the edifices that absorb so much of our precious time and search out those life forms that nature has brought through the calamity, change, and rebirths which punctuate all the strata of life. Rediscover and balance yourself amidst that world for it is from them we came and in our wisest moments to thence we return. So listen. And I will try likewise, and perhaps relay a little of what I hear. And I assure you, I anticipate your reporting as well. Erik in the past.