Recently, Ainan has taken to considering
the brevity of life. It troubles him, somewhat, to look ahead and see so few
years to come.
“Life is SO short,” Ainan, said, a few days
ago, without preamble. He almost seemed to be cursing its brevity.
“I am 12.”, he continued, a little too
soberly, “...and that took no time at all, to reach.”
I kept quiet at that point. I held in my
mind a thought I knew he wouldn’t want to hear: that I am 44 – and that took no
time at all, to reach either. However old a human gets, they will still feel
the same: that it took no time at all to reach their present age. It is one of
the odd facts of our existence – that we would feel even the infinite were
but an instant.
“Your generation should live a lot longer
than mine.”, I said, to comfort him.
“I don’t know about that.”, he countered, a
little too sure of himself.
“You think the world is going to have a
He just nodded in answer. Ainan didn’t
think much of the way the world was being managed by its “leaders” – and was
well aware of the steadily accumulating environmental issues, energy problems,
pollution, species loss, potential ecosystem collapse and the generally
apocalyptic trend of human mismanagement of nature. He didn’t see much hope in
the face of it, primarily because he didn’t think much of the competence of those
making the relevant decisions.
“No. It won’t.” I said, not quite certain
of it, myself.
He just shook his head, deflecting my words
and walked off, his thoughts a little too sombre.
Not for the first time, I considered the
connection between high intelligence and a sobering view of reality. Smart people tend
to understand, too well, the problems Mankind faces and see, too clearly, the
limits those could place on their own places – so they can tend to be a little
pessimistic as to what is to come. Dumber types, however, are quite content to be
happily ignorant and dismissive of all the darker possibilities. They will live
quite happily...until they finally realize how wrong they were to be so content
about it all.
Ainan, however, cannot know the ease of the
dumb. He sees what might lie ahead and knows the enormity of the challenges
Mankind faces. He also knows, the collective dumbness of those charged with
navigating what lies ahead. It is not a happy realization.
Think back to what you were like at 12. Were
you concerned at the brevity of life and convinced of hard times ahead for the
human race? Let me know what you thought, below, so that I might compare your
perspectives to Ainan’s.
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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Labels: Ainan Celeste Cawley, Ainan's apocalyptic future, Ainan's viewpoint, an uncertain future, getting older, on the brevity of life, the future of Earth