Saturday, July 9, 2016

Dear Future World

Dear Future World, 

I know I can’t and shouldn’t speak for everyone so I will speak for myself in the only way I know how.
I’m writing to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry we fucked it all up.
I’m sorry we didn’t do more even though we certainly could have.
We were given a precious gift and we ruined it. 
There’s no excuse. 
We got lazy. We got greedy. 
We got impatient and wanted everything faster. 
Pretty soon one drive-thru lane wasn’t enough. We needed two. And they both still ended up at the same window! 
But we didn’t see the idiocy of that or maybe we just didn’t care. Or maybe it was a little bit of both.
Pretty soon big wasn’t BIG enough and awesome wasn’t AWESOME enough. 
If something was expensive we had to have it! Things weren’t built to last anymore so we had to buy everything all over again.
Everything was electronic and easy. We were so obsessed with everything being at the tip of our fingers we let everything slip through them.
We were so busy trying to get everything RIGHT HERE! RIGHT NOW! we didn’t even take one second to think about what was down the road. 
Somewhere along the way, we lost our patience with everything and with each other. 
We pouted and kicked like little children when we didn’t get what we wanted when we wanted it and when people didn’t listen to us or when we heard something we didn’t like or agree with.
We hated it when someone said something that made us think in a new and different way.
We didn’t take one single second to think about you and what we might be leaving for you, Future World. You were too far off in the future and we were too busy shoving phones in our faces to see you.
We were too obsessed with taking selfies. We were too obsessed with ourselves. We lost perspective on the world around us. As much as we took pictures, we lost sight of the bigger one.
With our heads down staring at devices which were supposed to make our lives better, we weren't looking forward and we stumbled and tripped and eventually fell on our collective faces.
We labeled ourselves to death because just being HUMAN wasn’t good enough any more.
We argued and fought and killed each other for the sake of race and all the while the most important race, THE HUMAN RACE, was losing the bigger battle.
People killed because their god told them to do.
Some killed because they stopped listening to God.
Some killed because others had stopped listening to God.
Some killed because they were angry.
Some killed for revenge. 
Some killed because they were just bat-shit crazy. 
Some killed because of color. The color of skin. The colors on a flag. 
Whatever reasons you were given as to why there was so much senseless killing, they weren't enough. In many cases there were no reasons. No reasons that justified taking another life.
DEATH. There was far too much of it.
And there didn't need to be.
We were very good at it though.
We were out of control.
There were debates about controlling guns, but it was ourselves we needed to keep in check.
HATE consumed us. 
We served it up and we feasted on it and we never seemed to get full.
Honestly, Future World, we just stopped thinking. 
We stopped using our brains. 
Everything we wanted was right in front of us, in our hands, at the push of a button. We were plugged in...but not tuned in.
There was no need to think about anything any more. It was just easier to go with the most popular GOOGLE result and take it as truth.
We wanted to know everything and we wanted to share everything. 
Nothing was private and because nothing was private, we all felt a little too entitled and empowered. 
We got deaf.
We stopped listening, to each other and to everything else.
Mother Nature had plenty to say to us but we had things in or against our ears and we couldn’t hear a thing she was saying. 
Eventually she just stopped trying.
We were blind. Which, if you think about it, is incredibly ironic. Especially if you think about how many of us had undergone lasik surgery. 
We became irresponsible and arrogant.
We got lazy.
We created cars that drove themselves. It wasn't like we were paying attention any way and cars that drove themselves just made it worse. 
Why should we pay attention to the road ahead of us when the car was doing it for us? 
We lost our voice. We became more concerned with having a great sound-byte than sending a great message.
We just wanted to be entertained and we didn’t want to have to think about how we were being entertained. 
REASON was no longer a thing and we were more interested in those who were yelling the loudest. 
We wanted so badly to be distracted we were distracted badly.
When I was a kid, clowns were really scary. In time, though, those same clowns got even more frightening because they traded their makeup and over-sized shoes for fancy suits and hair do's. They traded three rings for the political arena. 
And we let them. As scary as they were, they were funny and obscene. They distracted us from reality which we all knew was getting less fun...and less real.
Even religion wasn't enough any more and in time ‘going to church’ became ‘going to an event’ because getting together with family and friends for an hour of peace and contemplation wasn’t enough any more. We needed to add rock bands and food trucks.
We blamed God for everything.
We blamed God for not doing enough.
Some of us doubted the existence of God but still looked to some invisible force to blame other than taking a good long look at ourselves. 
We just wanted to laugh and not work too hard for anything.
We became the 'just not worth it' generation.
A lot of people figured ‘What’s the point?’ 
Far too many of us were far too happy to just ‘Let the other guy do it.’ 
‘Friendship’ became a word on a website which meant you were allowing someone to hear everything that was in your head and see everything you were doing. And the website didn’t have any filters!
So we could see literally everything. 
Eventually we lost our filters too and once that happened we were lost.
TRUTH came with a price and too many people shopped for it on-line. 
Eventually the price became too high and nobody wanted it or could afford it. It was just easier and cheaper to believe the lies. The people who could afford it changed it and made it theirs.
For as many of us who bragged about going to the gym, we became weak. We lost that strength that had once made this country great.
We lost our resolve.
Fortitude can’t be measured on a FitBit, so we weren’t interested. 
Everything became an issue. Everything became an opportunity to get our, as Andy Warhol said, 'fifteen minutes of fame.' 
Everything became about the me, and the we suffered. 
‘We the people’ ceased to be a thing and the new mantra was ‘I the person.’
We tore ourselves apart, Future World. 
Most of us ripped and tore it apart out of selfishness. And our claws were sharp. Some tore at the world out of frustration and anger. 
Those who were left with the scraps didn’t know what to do with them. Scraps, are after all, just scraps. 
There are just some things duct tape can’t fix. 
And some time later we finally did get angry enough to do something about the sorry state of affairs we had created for ourselves. 
And we unfriended everything.

It was easy. All we had to do was follow a pop-up menu and then press a button.

I’m sorry Future World. I don’t know what else to say.

I hope things are better as you read this. 

I hope, in your time, people still come together for one another and not just when things are their bleakest but because we can and we should and not because it’s the last thing left to do.

I hope people still laugh at stupid jokes. I hope it’s okay to be silly and to cry and to love and to be who we are without worrying about who somebody else is and what they’re doing.

I hope the sky is blue. I hope the sun shines bright during the day and The Man on the Moon smiles down on you at night. 

I hope there are still books with cracked spines and dog-eared pages and wonderful words that transport you to better places than you may be in at the moment. 

I hope the grass is still green…on both sides. I hope there are still trees and animals. 

I hope you still jump in puddles after it rains. 
I hope it still rains.
I hope there is peace and quiet when you need it and head-banging rock n’ roll for those times when you just need to air guitar.

Most of all, Future World...
I hope you understand what the word HOPE means.

and that’s ‘Jody’ with a ‘y’
copyright 2016

all rights reserved

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