Yesterday, a fascinating idea struck me as I ate breakfast in the cafeteria. As I was looking at the various awards in the display case (that will be handed out the day before GRADUATION), my eyes fell upon one award in particular. It is indeed, in my eyes, the ugliest award: a rock glued onto a metal platform.
But it made me think. And I talked to (thebrownguy) about this and I wanted to share this thought with you. I am curious to know what you feel.
What would happen if the world ended now?
If all that was left of us was dust and scraps and rocks attached to metal platforms, what would later civilizations think? Would they see our accomplishments? The progression we have made? The technological breakthroughs, the scientific knowledge, the intellectual beings we came to be?
Or would they see an obvious path to self-destruction? Would they see a failure to come together, an overuse of natural supplies, greed, ignorance, pride? Would they find a fallen people?
I don’ t know. I think it is a little bit of both. Maybe one more than the other.
First off, everything on the internet would be negligible to later civilizations because there will be no electricity or MacBook to bring it to life. Which again, I hold ambivalent opinions on because it nullifies a lot of academia and creativity our society holds. Beautiful bits of knowledge that are held in educational websites, news, recipes, photography, or even blogs such as the OVS Journalism Blog will be gone. However, I would be relieved because of all the negatives the cyber world has brought us. Such as bullying. Or self-image issues. The tabloids. Peer pressures and social standards.
Most of what knowledge we hold will be represented by print. And with the newspaper industry slowly falling apart due to our society’s thirst for instantaneous news reports, what we leave behind in print will be very little. Kindles and Nooks will mean nothing with a dead battery. But with what little we have, I believe we can draw inspiration and perhaps a chance for change.
And our carbon footprint. The huge problem that most people fail to see or don’t care to fix. We cannot come together to solve such a simple problem. And the ramifications of our indulgent lifestyles will be shown in our oceans and the weather. It will be proven in the industrialization and in the air. The later civilizations will see how wasteful we were. Hopefully, these people will also take the initiative to learn from our mistakes and live with a more sustainable, eco-friendly initiative.
However, more importantly, it made me think about what I have done in my life and what I can do to make a change. It made me realize how I could start with myself to make the world a better place, as cliche as that sounds. As for me, I am going to college in mere months and I believe that, with the willpower, I can do something.
Now the question I want to ask is: What will you leave behind?