I’m starting to realize that I’m not invincible. It’s really a scary thought. For most of my life I’ve believed that I was to live forever. I remember thinking in Sunday school that if Jesus could be resurrected, I would be too. It was a thought that was so obvious to me because I truly believed in everything I was told. The idea that one day, the world would exist without me sounded too ludicrous to be true. “By the time I’m an adult, leaders in science and religion will have found a way for humans to live forever and ever,” is what I probably wrote in a journal I had after realizing that I wasn’t Jesus. I know today that the adults of my youth failed. Miserably. Now, I feel miserable because I know that I have one shot to have the best life that I can. Reality has set in and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m just like every other person that has lived before me, a non-exception, and I’ve accepted that no matter how rich I become, I will die one day. As a futurist, I think about this stuff way too often. Sometimes, I feel like my day dreams are what nightmares are made off.
How come the moment in history that I am alive is in the year of 2013, not 3012. If I believe in reincarnation, will I be reincarnated? I guess its comforting to “know” that you will be re-born. The other day I was reading a HuffPo article about how it could be possible that life started on Mars. Hmm. I don’t know about that. What I do know is that we are made of dust and water, pushing up daisies a mere 100 years after we were born. Apparently, most people in my generation will live to be that age. If we have yet to find a way to sustain life forever on planet Earth, I can see why scientists are looking outside our planet to answer the question: are we able to live forever?
Excuse the blatant craziness I’m exhibiting in this post. I’m basically free falling through my mind right now piecing together what I know and what I think I know. I’m very aware that my body will become part of the Earth’s sometime in the future. Some time. Four thousand years years from now I will not be here, nor will anything that I’ve ever loved. Or anyone. My favorite artists, musicians, things that put a smile on my face–erased. The world, my world, will be gone as I know it and there’s nothing that I can do about it. How can we all be so calm? How can we be so complacent? We’ve had more technological advancements crop up in the past 15 years than we’ve had in a century. The world is larger than it ever has been, but we are more connected. The world is smarter than it ever had been, but we are more fragmented. The Internet has allowed us to be more curious and less curious at the same time. Need to know what Roman holidays are being celebrated? There’s no need to pick up an encyclopedia, we know that Google has the answers. When you’re on the train, more people than not will have a phone with video taking capabilities. If someone wants to recite the reasons why their anti-Semitic to their entire car, within five minutes, their performance will be on YouTube, and by the next morning, they will no longer have a job or friends. Rightfully so. We live in an age where people are on high alert because it is so easy to get your fifteen minutes of infamy or fame. It is so easy to contact your childhood Olympic hero and ask that they accompany you to your prom. It is so easy to connect to someone that lives across the globe to find out how their country is battling a modern civil war. We as a people can do anything. The sky is the limit because we have the tools to reconfigure what it means to be a human today.
Lets keep pushing ourselves to find out not only what makes us happy, but keeps us happy for a long, long time. We may not ever discover an elixir that lengths our lifespans, but as a generation that knows more than any other generation before it, we have the capabilities to keep asking the questions that will make us the greatest and happiest generation that has ever lived.