When airplanes crashed into the twin towers in New York City on September 11th, 2009, the United States united as one entity in the name of defending our country against terrorism – well, unless you were Muslim or resembled a Middle Eastern person. I’m not attempting to minimize this side note; I believe racism is the head of an evolutionary survival instinct, and it’s a bit ridiculous that more people don’t use their consciousness to pretty much surmount any primitive instincts. What this really means is that humans are tribal: we befriend people who look and act similarly to ourselves. This takes the shape of racism at one extreme and tight-knit relationships at the other; in the middle, we find boundaries separating culture, urban and rural communities, economics, and personal hobbies.
However, when an event poses a threat against a nation (for example, Americans on 9/11), these people dissolve interior compartments and unite as a common group.
Anyway, the way I feel about 9/11 is similar to how I feel about space exploration. As an entire human population, we look to outer space as a foreign experience and therefore feel connected as a world. If and when we do colonize in outer space, there will surely be new boundaries, but the prospect of viewing the human race as an entity worthy of unifying (while expressing and taking notice of our differences without shame, oppression, or violence) will hopefully move the human race forward with acceptance, equality, and celebration.
With this being said, colonizing Mars will almost certainly present the same struggles and consequences we experienced when colonizing new parts of our globe. I think this is the hang up for a lot of people: we haven’t solved our issues here on Earth so why abandon our planet and destroy another in the wake of our colonization? I think, we won’t. Perhaps if we use consciousness as our tool for ignoring now-unnecessary instincts, which will eventually get weeded out over thousands of years of evolution, we just may find ourselves up against new hardships instead of the same ones we have dealt with for years. Hardships seem inevitable, so we might as well spice them up a bit, right?
Thinkies & Thoughties is inspired by The Book of Questions by Doctor Gregory Stock. Grab a cup of coffee — or something a little stronger — and sit down, open up, and share yourself every Friday.
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