THE YEAR 2119
I am grateful to live in 2018. My generation does not know the meaning of the word contagion and is unfamiliar with killer diseases such as small pox.
A generation ago, it took a whole day to travel a distance of 250 miles by train; today, I take for granted, the wonderful 14 hour non stop flights from San Francisco to New Delhi.
I live in an era where anything I want is a mouse click away ; thought activated devices are on their way to becoming household items.
History books state that people were once forced to believe that the earth was flat. It took powerful and fiercely independent scientific inquiry to understand the nature of the planetary home that we live in; today we know a great deal more than we did a century ago. I sure am grateful for the era we live in.
I could go on and on.
Instead I would like to speak from a 22nd century perspective from the year 2119.
I can’t believe that my ancestors took 14 hours to fly from San Francisco to New Delhi in 2018; any flight around the world in 2119 only takes a couple of hours.
I am healthier than my predecessors. Epidemics such as diabetes and cancer have been wiped away from the face of earth. Bones don’t wear away like they did in the 2000s. 110 year olds hike mountain tops with ease. Humanity is healthier than ever before; healthcare is not even an issue.
More importantly, a certain mental illness called stress has been completely wiped away; there is no reason to compete with one another and there is plenty to go around for all.
My generation does not know the meaning of the word terrorism or the word war. It scares me to think of the fact that people died from wars and terrorism a few generations ago. It is just unimaginable to me that countries even fought with one another.
My generation takes turns to indulge in public service, in elected office. It is inconceivable that people fought with each other in expensive electoral battles and indulged in negative campaigning against each other and even lied to get elected. Today, public service in elected office is what it is — it is only about making life better for one and all.
All talk about ‘left wing’ and ‘right wing’ today is confined only to bird watchers and biologists. How could people have lived with all of humanity clubbed into binaries such as the left and the right? And how could one wing have had dominion over the other without bringing everyone down?
The dreaded disease called greed has been eradicated from the planet. I shudder to think of the early 2000s where individual and corporate greed had diseased society in epidemic proportions. Allied diseases such as thievery and poverty have quietly disappeared. Corporations today create wealth even as they are engaged in the service of humanity and have a radiance that can only be compared to the ashrams of an earlier era.
Prejudiced notions and ‘the fear and hatred of the other’ that drove much of the insecurity in the 2000s have become a thing of the past. The dreaded disease bigotry that killed so many people is consigned to the bins of history. For God’s sake, people killed others in the name of — you guessed it — religion, professing moral superiority of their faith over someone else’s. I even shudder to think of it.
Artificial Intelligence has taken over much of our work. Resources are a’plenty. Humanity has time to take breaks from work, change careers, indulge in meaningful pursuits. There is nothing to retire from. Work is Play. I am hard pressed to imagine the dark centuries where work was stress.
History books state that the earth was going through unexplainable climate extremes and that many species were driven to extinction. A lot of people didn’t even believe in this. It took powerful and fiercely independent scientific inquiry and the collective power and faith of humanity to throw aside all differences and work together towards creating a more livable planet. I am grateful for this course correction that made this planet a better home for all.
I so hope to be reborn in a world such as this in 2119.