I believe that we live in a time that may become the pivot point for the history of mankind. Never before have humans had so much potential to build or to destroy, to grow or to annihilate, and to give life or propagate death. Over centuries we have mastered skills and technologies that have given us enormous power and have brought us, in some ways, closer together. However on our way here, we have lost something very precious, something that affects us in our very core and determines our actions… We have lost HOPE!
I often ask myself why that is, and I believe the answer is lack of responsibility. When you listen to the news or read a newspaper, it seems there is no hope for tomorrow. From climate and our environment to economy and political stability, the future looks grim. As a result we have become a race that is living only in the present tense and not considering what may happen tomorrow. What’s ironic is that this is the same attitude that has brought us here. Our careless consumptions and lack of responsible behavior has created our predicament. The sad part is that we know the answer. But the solution is often difficult, takes a longtime and requires scarifies on our part, so we ignore it.
There is a way out of this… and I believe the key is in the hands of our young generation. However, first we have to give them HOPE. We have to have faith in them and teach them how to be responsible. We have to go back to our basic human values of dignity and respect. Respect for each other and for our environment... respect for life. We have to help them see a different world; a world filled with mysteries, and possibilities,…. a beautiful peaceful world with no boundaries… and then empower them to be the change they want to see in the world. If we encourage them to imagine this world, then I know they will create it.
Imagination is what we loose as we grow up. Growing up, my mind was filled with possibilities of a future where starships would be flying to every corner of the universe. A future with time machines and parallel universes and teleportation and a United Federation of Planets… I was fascinated by these possibilities.
I was fortunate enough to spend 11 glorious days in space. I saw Earth as a beautiful blue ball in the darkness of space and felt its warmth and energy. Let me tell you… there is nothing like it out there.
From up there you see one earth, one home for all of us. The only thing separating us from each other is water and the only thing keeping us from instant death is that thin glowing blue atmosphere that surrounds us. When you look at Earth form up there, you have a new perspective. You can see how insignificant we are, compared to the universe that surrounds us. It is also an empowering experience because everything seems so small. You feel like anything is possible and changing the world does not seem like such a daunting task.
I often go to lectures and talk to young people all over the world and share what I saw from up there. When I do, I can see the sparkle in their eyes and the smile on their faces. And that’s when I believe that there is HOPE for a brighter future.