Honors, Trophies and How They Potentially Make Humans Think as a Species
We are currently living in a world of money, a world of competition and a world of Capitalism. Our behaviors, plans and thoughts are regularly shaped by our need for food, shelter and other forms of physical fulfillment. People, corporations and essentially the humanity plot our ways and build agenda around the question of how to make more money or how to serve the best interest of shareholders. Such a philosophy has driven our society to so high a level that is never before seen in an economic and technological sense. It is also, however, driving us mad as we struggle in front of even greater questions of our generation such as climate change, artificial intelligence, internet of things and space exploration. The model of monetary pursuit that has served to encourage individuals to maximize their own benefits in order to bring surplus to others for the past centuries can no longer properly support the next adventure of humanity. We need a new way, but it may not necessarily be any fancy inventions or radical political or economic changes (something I would love to address in my coming stories). This can actually be nostalgic. A sense of honor can make difference in our society.
As romantic as chivalry is, its legacy as an example of honor mechanism which promotes individual dedication to society and the greater good of the people should echo not only in history books or noble halls but in the minds of everyone who regard himself as a member of humanity. Medals, trophies, ribbons, awards and rings present not a merely physical souvenir to the awardee but an extra load of responsibility which comes with his capability and attitude recognized by such an honor. Humans are so different from other life beings because of our more precise handle of tools, more sophisticated thinking and most importantly of our care for the species. Such a care, or an awareness of the atmosphere we are all sharing, naturally sparks a need for us to promote well-being for more than just ourselves but to the population. I believe that this spark exists in each and every of us. When we face grave difficulties, be them wars, starvation, epidemics, we look not just at ourselves but also others, known or unknown, to see if we can satisfy that higher need of giving a helping hand. We all have this in us, but we choose mostly to hide it or tell ourselves that we could not spare a hand or it is simply not our responsibility or not that bad of a time which requires this. We need catalyst to preserve and actually spread this spark in our very daily lives. Honor is the catalyst.
We are all born to possess certain abilities which allow us to do better than most else and thus making it possible for us to lead, to educate, to advise and to help. Honor serves to encourage each individual to contribute their capabilities for the greater good, for example, promoting an ideology, educating children of programming, living a Eco-friendly lifestyle, or leading an innovative social project.
Let’s make it clear. Honor is not an automatically catharsis to the sins of modern economic society. It is the first step for humanity to further evolve and think as a benevolent species as we are setting the course, in this century, for the farthest voyage and adventure in the history of mankind, to Mars and beyond. Humanity, which I believe will inevitably become an interplanetary species, must figure out how our society and our very own ways of thinking and behaving should evolve to cope with such drastic technological advancement.
Perhaps at a certain point of future, the ribbons and medals on our spacesuit are what grant us the courage and confidence when we speak for the first time to another intelligent species. And I hope that happens.