I’m glad the human imagination is capable of such concepts. I’m glad we can dream of newer worlds, maybe even better worlds. I’m glad that, at every age of our existence as a species, we have had the intelligence and daring to reach for those things just outside our grasp.
But--you knew there had to be a but--as events of yesterday, April 15th, have reminded us, our biggest challenge as a species does not come from without. It comes from within. The Boston Marathon bombing is only the latest in a series of horrors we have faced recently. I won’t list others because I know you can list them as well as I.
Let’s be clear, except for the technology used for the April 15th bombings, the callousness and brutality of the act are nothing new to “humanity.” That’s exactly the problem. While we have gone on for centuries uncovering greater knowledge of the universe and inventing new wonders of technology, we seem not to have changed our minds one bit. Far too many of us are still nasty, brutish, vicious creatures full of hate, jealousy and violence. Far too many want only to hurt, not to heal—want only to see the tears and blood of the innocent rather than the smiles of the joyful.
Don’t believe for a moment that I’m above the basest of feelings myself. Yesterday, my mind seethed with rage. I imagined a hundred scenarios in which the perpetrators of this atrocity were identified and caught…and turned over to me. I imagined the horrors I would inflict upon them. And I felt no guilt whatsoever. Any possible consideration that these murderers might claim justification for what they did could not sway me. They attacked the innocent! They attacked those who have done nothing to them whatsoever. There is no clearer description of evil.
Today, my rage is banked, but it is still there. Today I am just barely starting to think again rather than just feel. I still scream inside for justice for the dead and the maimed. But now another thought intrudes. Somehow, some way, some when, we must find a way to terraform ourselves. Before it is too late.