I was on the phone talking to my mother the other day. Instead of our usual conversations about what’s going on with our family, we got into discussing about how much technology has changed over the years.
Eventually, we reminisced about our past family trip in the early 1990’s to Epcot in Walt Disney World in Florida. The Spaceship Earth ride that we took was especially memorable, to see the depiction of life in the future and the forecasted advancements in technology.
I remember my fascination with the portrayal of humans communicating by video. It all seemed so far-fetched back then.
Fast-forward to today, where almost half of the world’s population is connected to the Internet and doing video calls is a common occurrence. Humanity has achieved so much, from mastering flight, curing diseases to the exploration of space.
However, despite humanity’s achievements, I’m not certain if we’re really making this world a better place.
A World of Suffering and Loss
There are still many people suffering daily or losing their lives due to discrimination, inequality, poverty and violence.
We are still exhausting the earth’s resources and slowly destroying nature.
Professor Stephen Hawking is even convinced that we only have 1,000 years left here on earth (or 999 years to be exact since he gave this warning during a lecture at the Oxford Union a year ago, in November 2016).
Now that I’m a mother, what’s happening to people around the world and to our environment suddenly feels a lot more personal.
I wonder about the kind of world that I’m going to leave my son in. I can’t help thinking about what will happen to his children and their children.
All It Takes Are Small Steps to Make This World a Better Place
But everyday we all have a chance to make a difference. Let’s not allow this opportunity to go to waste.
You don’t have single-handedly move mountains or change the world in a day. All it takes are small steps.
Here are some ideas of what those small steps could be:
- Opening the door for a mother pushing her child in a stroller.
- Letting a car pass in the freeway so that they could make it to the next exit.
- Returning your shopping cart to the designated spot.
- Remembering to bring a reusable bag so that you can use it for shopping.
- Stopping yourself as soon as you feel that you’re about to pass judgment on another.
- When you ask somebody “How are you?”, make sure you mean it.
May it be a small act of kindness or making an extra little bit of effort, they all make a difference.
Together, our small steps will result in big changes. Changes that are needed to make this world a better place.
During his lecture, Professor Hawking gave this inspiring message:
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.
Saul, Heather. “Professor Stephen Hawking: Humanity will not survive another 1,000 years if we don’t escape our planet.” Independent, 19 Nov. 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/professor-stephen-hawking-humanity-wont-survive-1000-years-on-earth-a7417366.html.