Back to the Future, or the Past?

Think back several hundred years. What I see when I do this is semi-barbaric people that talk funny and know nothing about the world. It’s silly for me to look at it in that matter though, for they were humans just like us that had thoughts and views and opinions. I know I’m not alone when I think that the past was so different from how we are today, and of course in a lot of ways it is. The one similarity is that we are all human beings. Our resemblance to one another in the nature of our being remains the same. That’s why the story of Easter Island is so alarming.

It’s easy for us to assess this story and wonder how no one noticed that the island’s resources were slowly disappearing. How much do we notice the health of our own environment today? Sure, we now have scientists and years of research that are able to give us insight to what is happening, but we rarely act on that information. Maybe that is how the people of the island acted as well. It’s hard for us to wrap our heads around the fact that our planet is not limitless. When a problem of our environment is brought up, there rarely is urgency to fix it because “that won’t happen for a long time.” I hear this phrase a lot. I have thought it myself. Why should I worry about it if it’s not my problem? It’s a selfish way of thinking, but it’s reality. However, someday it will be someone’s problem and it will be too late to mend. I imagine this is how the collapse of the Easter Islanders happened.

So we really aren’t much different than we were in the past. We’ve had amazing advancements in all aspects of our lives, but our foundation of our beings remains the same. I can only hope that with new information about our planet, we use it to stop being so destructive. It won’t be a fix we can make overnight, maybe not even in my lifetime. I know that I can make a few changes in my own life that will hopefully make the slightest difference in sustaining our species further.

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