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The Man, His Works, and His Ruins
08. June 2018 at 22:06
Over the years of our existence, we, as human beings, have proven our capabilities and witnessed the accomplishments of our brilliant minds. But are we on the verge to unleash our greatest breakthrough as the supreme species of our planet... or are we a few steps from our own downfall?
The earth, a tiny dot in a dark infinite universe circling around a gigantic ball of fire for quite a long time. The only planet we know so far to perfectly harbor life. It is fascinating how a reaction of light, rocks, metals, organic molecules and other elements turned into an arena of immense and complex systems. An enormous biodiversity where all living and non-living organisms seems to interconnect with each other. It provides us the air to breathe, the water to drink, the food to eat and the land to live in, which are the essential elements to help us all survive. From its majestic mountain ranges, valleys and plains to its ravishing rivers, lakes and seas: the world was beautifully created to serve as a haven for every living creatures. All of these exist in a layer of firmament which is thick enough to protect us from a harsh colossal totalities of everything outside our world.

Through billions of years of the earth’s existence, a fraction of time came when the human beings co-existed. Since then, the impact of our kind has been remarkable. Not later than 700,000 years ago, our ancestors have discovered fire. The discoveries and inventions had gone hand in hand to create what we have today. Modern civilization started only 6,000 years ago, and that was when the great emperors and kings, soldiers, religious leaders, mathematicians, scientists and artists have left their marks on today’s society. We have survived the plagues, turmoil and wars. We have established tons of ideologies, religions, governments, and economic doctrines. We have accomplished so much in a short span of time. Over the years, we have learned that we have been in this world for a reason. We have proven something to the world that no other species have ever done. Our capabilities show that we are the ones who are wise enough to become responsible in managing and taking care of the planet and all the lives on it.

All these accomplishments in a few lifetimes, how do we know we are being too much? Think about it. Who do we think we are? How are we ungrateful about everything around us? We are apparently fragile creatures living comfortably in a world that provides everything we need and protects us from a dark, powerful, and inhabitable space. Among any other kind, we, human beings are born to be the greatest; not because of our physical attributes, our hunting abilities or our instinct – but because we have these intangible abilities that only our kind understands. We have the gift of compassion, empathy, and understanding to one another. Our powerful minds could create so much than what we expected. We might have unleashed our potentials but we still keep on getting better. We are supposed to lead the world, but how on earth did we allow everything to fall apart?

When our economic system was in a smaller scale, the capacities of our environment to provide all of our necessities seemed to be infinite; so we dug the mountains to find every last piece of gold, we cut down the trees for humanly purposes, we dumped on our rivers thinking our wastes will go away, we poison our air to create the things that satisfy our demands, we spread and spread with our advanced technologies like molds in a piece of bread. We built road systems to make ways for our fancy cars, built factories to produce the parts of our fancy stuff, and cleared parts of lands for our fancy houses and fancy buildings. At this point in time, in a total of 15.77 million acres of habitable lands, there are 7.6 billion human inhabitants divided in 195 nations sharing the world’s resources. Our naked eyes are now seeing the painful reality that these resources are finite. The environment that used to seem limitless is now showing signs of weakness. The mountains which seemed strong and firm are softened by the absence of trees resulting to erosions which take hundreds of lives. The rivers, lakes and seas with hundreds of species of aquatic animals are now stinking from toxic chemicals. The forests which used to have trees that clean our air are now filled with infrastructure which poison what we breathe and heats up our planet. Fresh drinking water which used to be found on streams are now impossible to drink due to contamination. In some parts of the world, people are wearing face masks every time they step outside. The rising level of the oceans from melting glaciers and the climate change from the greenhouse gases we produce are now threatening all the ecosystems; all of these huge effects are from our small individual pleasures. Thousands of species every year which some lived before us are dying from our invasive deeds. Now that forces of nature are beginning to become unpredictable, we hide on our homes and pray for our lives without realizing the fault on our side. We are busy agonizing on the effects without identifying the causes and thinking of every possible solutions. Our unsatisfied minds and unfulfilled desires has led us to a common threat: our own extinction.

What are we doing about it, actually? We are too busy on our personal lives. We are busy working for our personal gains. We are now in the time and place where we have reached the greatest breakthrough in communication industry yet we all seem to slowly disconnect with each other. Where everything we know about our world came from the screens on our faces. Where we got the convenience we have always wanted in exchange of the inconvenience of the world. Where innovation aims for individual satisfaction, rather than well-being of our kind. Where every subjects are considered sensible arguments, yet none of them makes sense since actions are never taken. Where showing sympathy and empathy is through virtual emotions and sugar-coated words. And while we are busy with our customized lifestyles, our world leaders are busy threatening each other, gaining power and giving false hopes about our society. Most nations’ funds are cut down to half to produce weapons and machineries as if wars are always approaching. They periodically shuffles their appointees creating the illusion that there are forthcoming changes in the system, yet the goal has always been the same: to gain power and control over the people. And while the leaders are busy controlling the people, there are also the elites who look at every resources as profits. They create standards in our societies where everyone must conform. Using other people like slaves to build their kingdoms and empires of greed. They own the lands where we supposed to build our homes and they own the food and water which supposed to belong to everyone. And while the elites are busy taking away what’s ours, there are the poor and the weak who are weeping from hunger. Born in such lands where needs are already taken away and helping them barely exists in other people’s minds. The tragic reality is that the more we think we are getting better, the more we become detached to our own kind and to our world. Divided based on power, properties and status; sundered by our egos, beliefs and ignorance; and separated by our own selfish desires. While we are busy being inhuman to humanity, the earth is sniveling for our own danger; saddened by how we used our abilities to ruin its beauty; mourning for the lives of species that never did anything wrong yet they suffer from the works of humankind; grieving for our own designed extermination of all the breathing bodies and souls on it.

We spread faster than the healing process of the earth. Are these modernizations and industrializations still worthy to continue? Or should we turn things around? What an absurd thing to ask, right? Economies of most globalized countries might crash down, many people will lose their jobs, many industries will die, basically every worst case about losing profit. Let us just say we still relentlessly live on our ways, a day will eventually come where all the bodies of water are contaminated by our wastes, majority of the species that make up our ecosystems have vanished, all the trees to clean the air are all consumed, and all the air to breathe are poisoned by our factories; would gaining profit still matter if all the lives on earth is at stake?

Visualize everything that has happened on our world ever since we came. Imagine all the lives taken away from the time that early tribes were expanding their territories, during the arrival of foreign explorers which ignited the early revolts, until the ones during the mass killings and the biggest wars the world has ever seen. On the other hand, picture all the forms of happiness that we have shared during our entire existence – from the moment we first discovered the fire, tasted a cooked food, learned how to speak, learned how to write, had the explanation to things, discovered art, felt the overflowing of ideas to build stronger houses, make roads, and create bikes, cars, ships, trains, and planes, sent someone to the moon, talked to people from miles away, fell in love, embraced by our mother and father, given the rights which are equal to others, and discovered the whole world. Reminisce about how spectacularly spontaneous and productive we were. Even in our personal lives; think about how curious you were as an innocent child, how huge your dreams were, and how you stayed looking forward for tomorrow. Think of all the sufferings of the poor and the success of those who worked hard. Think about all the paradoxes of the world: the destruction and peace, conflicts and agreements, hatred and love, cruelty and compassion, pessimism and hopefulness, disbelief and faith. Imagine all of these which happened on our time fade slowly and painfully. All of the great things we have established and the efforts we have given to make an impact and be remembered, vanish in front of our eyes; leaving no evidence and proof that our kind has ever existed in this world.

When that happens, all we could ask is for the ways to make things right; when it is almost impossible to fix, we would hope for a miracle to touch our world without knowing that miracles happen each day. It is definitely a miracle that we, billions of humans living in the same world, are controlled by a few of our kind; that these few of people who control us made us build towers, bridges, empires and kingdoms; they made us kill each other for their glory; they made us destroy our world for their gains. Our ancestors, our great grandfathers, our parents had lived their whole lives being controlled but now it is time for us to find the miracle within ourselves. This world is what’s left for us and for our sons and daughters. The earth will still rotate and revolve whether we take care of our environment or continue creating the devastation of our kind. Now is the time to stand up for our planet, our world, our home. This might be the greatest challenge for HUMANITY: to become the truest version of ourselves – to use our heart, our mind and our soul. Together, we can change the perspectives of every humankind, even the ones who control us, to become more human than who we are now. The few of our kind have been on the top among us not because they are strong, but because we are weak. We are weak because we are crumbled apart as humankind into races, as races into nations, as nations into communities, as communities into individuals… and even as individuals, we are crumbled. The only way to make things right is to aim for a solid goal: to become one. Not many, not few, but ONE. It may sound very simple to do in the absurdity of our kind, but simple is perfect. Perfection may be unfathomable to obtain and the idea of turning things around is almost ironically absurd as well, but I do believe it is possible; improbable but it's not impossible.

Cite This Article As: Aaron Jay Quitain. "The Man, His Works, and His Ruins." International Youth Journal, 08. June 2018.

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