We used to look up.
I don’t know exactly who I mean by ‘we’. Maybe it was my generation, when we had seen man actually make it to the moon. Maybe it was people of my mindset. I’d like to think it was my generation, with parents who had watched the original series of ‘Star Trek’ – and our generation who saw the original ‘Star Wars’. Or, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, or even, ‘E.T.’.
We used to look up. We used to stare at the stars, some of us, while laying in the grass.
I’ve spent most of the day watching this live stream, in the background, as I read and did other things. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. And we take it for granted, we sit there staring at phones, communicating about little of worth.
The things of worth we do talk about are about how we can’t keep things from flooding, or people from doing dumb things, or arguing over which idiot is better than which – we who could put a man on the moon, who could build an international space station, who could go peeking at other planets like a nosy neighbor.
We have the capacity to know where we are on our own planet with accuracy that would make ancient mariners ecstatic, and we have that on devices that Tesla told us we would eventually have. It wasn’t so long ago that these things didn’t exist. We dreamed big.
Then the Internet happened – a complex system of communication, too complex for our communication as we began to talk to people around the world. Kittens and pornography propagated it across the world.
Some were so intent on selling their products, services and thoughts that they got really good at marketing. In fact, they got so good at marketing that their marketing became better than their products, services and thoughts.
Somewhere along the way, I think we stopped looking up with a sense of awe. We stopped seeing what our combined efforts could do if we chose to work together.
We should look up.