Did you know that in the 15th and 16th centuries people invaded countries, killed each other, and started wars over spices?! Yeah. That’s right. People killed each other over cinnamon and nutmeg. Today we might look back on those times and think, “What the heck?! Seriously?!”
And I’m thinking that 100 years from now when people look back on THESE times and learn that we invaded countries, killed each other, and started wars over oil, they’ll maybe say a 22nd century variation of “What the heck? Seriously?!” and they’ll ask in shock, “They killed each other over fossil fuels?!”
Or maybe they’ll be shocked that we hated each other for the color of our skin or our religion or our political party. Maybe when they learn that people of the 20th and early 21st century zipped alongside each other in earth-bound metal containers, traveling at speeds of 70+ mph, with only human-controlled steering wheels and brakes keeping us from colliding with each other, they’ll say, “Are you kidding me?! How did any of those people survive?!!”
When I try to picture the future, I like to picture a place of peace and equality. I like to picture a world that’s clean and fresh – powered by energy that doesn’t pollute and isn’t owned by corporations. Everyone has access to affordable health care and higher education. Everyone has food and shelter and clean water and safety. People work because they want to work, and they spend their time creating art, music, poetry, beauty – nurturing the good in themselves and each other. No one is owned by Big Business. People don’t feel the need to claw and kick each other for the scraps that politicians throw under the table. Everyone has access to education, and information. And people are kind – they wouldn’t even think of being otherwise.
I like to think we can get to that future. Maybe I won’t live to see it, but I can be part of the wave that takes us there.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell