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.

Be Prepared…To Back It Up

This morning I got an email. Nothing out of the ordinary, I get lots of email everyday. This one related to a project I was working on, so with great care I read the words. I didn’t like them. The email was meant to be the first of a two part marketing email, and in my opinion it was “campy”.

“Who wrote that email?” I asked later in a meeting. It came out a little more blunt than I intended it, but I went with it. Sitting across the table from me was Chris, a man I respect, and without flinching he looked me in the eye and said “I did”.

It was at this point that my brain conjured up an image of me lifting up my foot, sprinkling it with a dash of pepper, and inserting my foot into my mouth. Ignoring my brain, I tried to save myself, but the damage was done, and my opinion was out there. Chris, looking at me seriously asked “What did you not like about it?”

This time my brain showed me an image of a large metallic robot, who kept repeating loudly, “Danger, Danger, Danger Jason Heilpern!” I ignored the image. “I thought it was to campy, and I think we can do better.” I explained.

The robot in my head suddenly turned into a very disgusted looking midget who told me I was an idiot.

Chris nodded his head, and said “I am really open to feedback on the email. Thank you for sharing your opinion, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with for the second email of our campaign.”

The robot, the midget, and me all said at the same time “What?!” Chris repeated what he said, and I knew I had set myself up.

After the meeting I took a walk to get some coffee, and think about what just happened. I had expressed an opinion, and felt my opinion was valid. Chris could have reacted 10 different ways, but instead he chose to react in what I felt was the best way possible. I said we could do better, and he was giving me the very chance to do so.

So I got my coffee, and with determination the robot, the midget, and I headed back to my computer to back up my opinion with action.

Later in the day I sent out the email, but that is not really the point. The point is I learned a valuable lesson today. Anything I say, opinion or otherwise, I need to be prepared to back up with actions. My Dad always said “Actions speak louder than words.” So today I vowed to be more careful about the opinions I express. Especially if it has to do with the work of another person, because if I am not fully committed and prepared to get in there, and do a better job, I had better keep my opinions to my self.