Hello, friends! April is almost here, which means it’s almost time for the A to Z Challenge! If you haven’t heard of the A to Z Challenge before, click here to learn more. It’s a cool thing, with lots of blogs participating, covering all sorts of fun and interesting themes. Here on Planet Pailly, the theme for this year’s A to Z Challenge will be:
OUR PLACE IN SPACE!!!
This will be a mostly imaginative tour of the future, with a little bit of actual, factual science mixed in. We’ll see how future human colonists are faring on the Moon and Mars, we’ll visit scientific research stations in the outer Solar System, and perhaps we’ll witness humanity’s first tentative steps toward interstellar travel. We’ll also check in on Earth and see how our home planet is doing.
I can also promise you that this will be an optimistic view of the future. I am, and always have been, optimistic about the future of humanity. People have told me before that my optimism is foolish and naive. People have told me to “look at the direction things are going” and that I should “get ready for what’s coming.” Maybe those people have a point, but when I talk about the future, I’m not quite as foolish and naive as I may seem.
I know the world is a scary place right now. There’s a really nasty war going on. There’s a pandemic going on (still). Around the world, liberal democracies are under threat, and climate change is transitioning from being a theoretical concern to a very real and very immediate problem. The gap between the rich and poor is growing wider, our population growth is unsustainable, et cetera, et cetera… I know. Believe me, I know. And yet despite all of that, I still have hope for our planet and our species.
Mother Earth (as pictured above) is right. We can do better than this. The first step is to believe in ourselves, to believe that a better and brighter future is still possible. I admit that hope alone will not guarantee us a better or brighter future, but I also know from personal experience that hopelessness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those who still have hope still have a chance while those who give up hope have doomed themselves. Let us not, as a species, give up hope in ourselves.
So in the coming month, I invite you to join me in imagining a future where kindness has prevailed, a future where we have not destroyed ourselves or our planet, and where we, as a species united in peace, have gone on to claim our rightful place in space.