Humanities Extinction

It has been awhile since Hollywood has come out with a really good “end of the world” type movie.  Come to think of it, the last ones I can remember came out when I was still in high school.  Movies like Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow, and Independence Day come to mind.

I would venture a guess that most human beings don’t think about the end of the world. Like death, I think we all know it will happen someday, but choose not to think about it. A problem for future generations to deal with.

The end may be sooner then you think, and worse it doesn’t look like the end of humanity will come by asteroid, alien invasion, or deadly storm.  The end, it seems, will come at the hands of humanity itself.

6975466-end-of-the-worldIn a recent interview Stephen Hawking theorizes that 1,000 years may be all humanity has left.  He warns that with advances in science & technology bring with it “new ways that things can go wrong.”

I am inclined to believe Hawking, but maybe for different reasons.  Humanity is becoming increasingly distracted to the realities of what is going on around them.  Social media, TV, and cell phones have lowered our attention spans significantly.  Obesity is at an all time high, and our schools and educational systems are eliminating the very things that make life worth living such as music, art, photography, theater, and more.

If humanity was to be wiped out tomorrow how would we want our species to be remembered?  If we only have 1,000 years left we should focus on more important things besides how many Facebook friends we have, or how many “likes” we got on our last Instagram photo.

Life is to be lived, felt, believed, and remembered.  If humanity only has 1,000 years left I hope we make those years ones of great significance and importance.  And I truly hope, before the end, that we can put our differences behind us, and come together as one species united.

Death and Prison

I am not going to go into detail on this subject, but I found out yesterday that someone I know was arrested, and put in prison over the weekend.  Ever since I found out I have been thinking about life, living, peace, happiness, sorrow, and death.

Last night I was journaling some of my thoughts, and without planning to, I started writing a short story.

I laid in my hospital bed.  The air smelled stale with a heavy trace of disinfectant.  I rolled my eyes irritated that my last remaining breaths would sentenced to  breathing in the arid scent of bleach.

No one was in the room with me.  No family, or friends stood by my bedside to comfort me as I crossed over to the other side.  No loving wife who would sit bravely next to me, holding my hand, while she told me she loved me.  I didn’t even have a faithful and loving dog that would lay down at the foot of the bed till it was over.

I was alone.

My life had been a hard one, and time had finally caught up with me.  Dying is something that will come to all of us.  I knew it, you know it, its a fact that none of us can escape.  But none of us think about it.  We put it at the back of our mind, pretend it isn’t there, and make jokes about living forever.

I had known my death was coming months before the diagnosis.  Death had been on my mind for the better part of a year.  I saw it everywhere, and worse yet I felt it.  Like an ever present pressure just behind you, following you.  Death was coming for me, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

Figures my life would end like this.  Alone.  I didn’t care.  I was ready for life to end, to be over.  Life had not been kind, and I was happy to see it finally come to a close.  And so as I closed my eyes, and took my last breath I bid farewell to life, and hoped whatever lay beyond would be better.

For what seemed like eternity I was in darkness.  I wasn’t standing, sitting or lying down.  I was just there, present and dead.  Don’t ask me how I knew I was dead, but I knew that I had died.  I had no body to feel with, or eyes to see.  I wasn’t even sure I could move, and even less sure if I wanted to.  So I just remained where I was.

Time passed, but seemed to have no meaning on where I was.  I have no idea how long I was there, but eventually I felt a pull.  Not a physical pull, but certainly a powerful one.  Whatever I was, whatever I had become, this pull reverberated down to the core of my very being.  I followed the pull, and eventually saw, or better yet, felt light.  

It grew brighter, and more intense with each passing moment.  I was moving towards it with such speed that I actually felt afraid.  Like I was going to crash into whatever the light was, and splatter my new form into pieces.  But I had no way to stop it.  Whatever was pulling me was in complete control and I was only along for the ride.

My fear grew as I hurtled towards the brilliant white light, until I somehow felt an explosion.  My very essence had seemed to rip through some kind of invisible barrier.  I was surrounded by other presences like my own.  Millions upon millions of them.  I could feel them.  I was connected to them.

That was when I heard the voice.  A deep booming voice that seemed to come from everywhere all around me.  It said “Prisoner 44371.  Your time has been served.  Welcome back.”