Earth’s Question

Almost on a daily basis we read, hear, and debate the effects we are having on Earth and its environment. Everyone contributes their opinions, frustration, and energy relative to the degree they believe we are impacting the long-term effects on our planet and its ability to sustain our existence. With so much banter, how do we know what to believe and how to ensure we are helping this world remain healthy, clean and available for our future generations to thrive?

Aren’t we universally in agreement that a prosperous future is what we aspire to? I think I can say with only slight hesitation, we understand perpetual evolution requires us to look beyond our immediate needs and desires so we, the human race, can continue to survive and thrive. It simply requires the right perspective.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate what’s greater than us is by doing our best to be objective. Or if we find it hard to escape our own emotional paradigm, might we take a fresh and empathetic angle? What if we saw our story through the lens of our dear mother Earth? Perhaps math can assist.

We have evidence that Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. To digest this on a more relatable level, imagine the earth as a middle-age 45-year-old parent. Simple calculation… just divide the earth’s life by 100,000,000.

So, let’s briefly indulge in what has happened in her lifetime thus far.

Well, our telluric mother started to give birth to life at the ripe age of 7. That life was simple life; bacteria and microbes. It wasn’t until she reached 11 years of age that she was able to nurture that life to the point where it was producing oxygen through photosynthesis; a slow yet graceful path to create a nursery for sustenance. Then came some serious calamity in our mother’s life. She went through two devastating freezes between the ages of 22 and 37. It wasn’t until after these injuries that she was able to recover and produce autonomous life (such as the jellyfish) which began traveling about her inner veins of rivers and oceans. Then at the age of 40, our mother was able to produce an explosion of life where eventually dinosaurs were walking around (at age 42). By the age of 44, however, mom had another devastating injury where the vast majority of her budding children were annihilated. Still… mom found a way. Within that same year; roughly 11 days later (3 million human years) she was able to give unimaginable birth to another round of children where even monkeys were wondering her surface.

Now let’s imagine our mother’s birthday to be January 1st. The very first form of humanoid was born on December 24th — just a week before her 45th birthday! These children spent very little time discovering how to build and use fire while advancing their sophistication of tools. In fact, by December 28th, these humanoid creatures of hers had already begun cooking and making clothing.

Welcome to New Year’s Eve; the day before her 45th birthday. Finally, she gave birth to the modern human (homo sapiens). That’s right, it was just about yesterday to mama Earth. This is when our human brain evolved to allow us to begin our special journey towards this moment. So, within the last 24 hours of mother Earth’s life, we’ve shown up and began performing our show. Here are some of the things that we’ve done in less than a day:

  • 13 hours ago, we developed language (150,000 years ago)
  • 2.5 hours ago, we created art (30,000 years ago)
  • 1 hour 45 minutes ago, we began farming (20,000 years ago)
  • 37 minutes ago, we established the beginnings of civilization (7,000 years ago)
  • 29 minutes ago, we invented the wheel (5,522 years ago)
  • 26 minutes ago, we began developing organized religion and science (5,000 years ago)
  • 13 minutes ago, we created the basis of math (2,500 years ago)
  • 1 minute 11 seconds ago we created the vaccine for smallpox and ended a virus that had already taken 500M of our lives (226 years ago)
  • 46 seconds ago, we invented electricity (147 years ago)
  • 16 seconds ago, we first walked on the moon (52 years ago)
  • 12 seconds ago, we invented the internet (38 years ago)
  • AND…. We anticipate colonizing Mars in just another 9 seconds (2050: in 28 years)

Buh-bye mama!

So here we are… perhaps head of the food chain. We’ve learned to do things beyond our own physical limitations through innovation. We fly. We cure. We see into other galaxies. We instantly communicate with one another all over this planet. We document our own history and the history of all other life and physical forms.

Our evolution has come to the point where we’ve acquired the great ability to last for an average of 25 seconds. The first 7 seconds are all about survival and acquiring knowledge. The next 13 seconds are about the doing (multiplying, working, producing and teaching). The last 5 seconds represent our slow decline to death. We are a growing family of 8 billion humans for 20-some seconds and multiplying along the way.

We are a species of children that thrives and continues to command its presence even at the depletion of our own mother… Earth. We are the first form of life that has evolved and expanded to the point that we are now taking from her beyond her capacity to give.

So here is our dear mother’s Question:

“Are you my prodigy of life; evolving your consciousness to understand its purpose and support the greater welfare for all? Or are you my virus, infecting the very source of my being — as well as all my children?”

The difference between these two dramatic possibilities rests entirely within our collective perspective. Do we have the mental, emotional and intellectual capacity to see beyond our near-sighted, selfish desires and recognize the gift and power of being human? Or will we remain caught in the ego’s web of self-destructive behavior that fuels the temptation of greed, fear and fragmentation? Could this really be a story of us vs. ourselves via the sword of egoic dissection? What a tragedy this would be.

We have a natural and gifted ability to understand how to prevail. We’ve mastered the game of survival through procreation and evolution. We have developed into an incredible class of life where collective consciousness sees today with the wisdom of the past to be in somewhat control of tomorrow. The only thing standing in our way seems to be the ability to generate and retain focus on a broadened perspective that will guarantee enduring momentum in this miracle of life.

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Tom is a thought-leader and innovator in reputation/brand strategy and operational effectiveness.

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Tom Geyer

Tom Geyer

Tom is a thought-leader and innovator in reputation/brand strategy and operational effectiveness.

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